It is estimated that the US government spent over $15bn on the drug war in 2010.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders recently said no to recognising gaming addiction and placing it on the 2012 DSM.
This sums up our current situation. We continue to throw significant money at the drugs war we cannot win whilst we ignore the major threat that is already with us. That threat is gaming addiction. And with pushers or dealers such as the almighty Microsoft there is little chance of governments recognising this epidemic.
Let me enlighten you with a few stats.
- 72% of American households play video games
- 10% of gamers show signs of addiction
- There are 35 million active Xbox Live members worldwide spending an average of 60 hours per month gaming
China have already recognised this threat and acted strongly but with little impact. In 2005 they placed a 3 hour a day gaming limit meaning you were expelled from any game after the allotted time. In 2006 this was relaxed to under 18’s and it has been further diluted recently partly due to gamers being able to easily circumnavigate the restrictions.
If the Chinese government – with it’s all powerful reach and rigidity – cannot successfully implement a restriction then there is little hope for the rest of us.
Gaming addiction is here to stay. It will grow to become a serious threat to our society and the social ability of several generations. Our Governments must act. BUT – gaming is worth too much money and their creators are powerful. Can we really trust them and our governments to play fair?