Enjoying video video games: from leisure exercise to psychological dysfunction

The historical past of video video games, understood as an entertainment-oriented software during which we’ve a interactive capability, we will hint it again to the Nineteen Fifties, when builders like Alexander S. Douglas and William Higginbotham launched digitized variations of the basic tic-tac-toe recreation, Nought and crosses (during which we performed in opposition to the machine), or desk tennis, with the Tennis for Two (and participant in opposition to participant). The first recreation consoles appeared throughout the seventies and, along with the success of arcades, there was a fantastic development within the online game sector. Europe opted for microcomputers as the Commodore 64 or the Spectrum, whereas Japan opted for the console Nintendo Entertainment System. 1985 was the yr of inflection on the earth of videogames and its conception of design with the looks of Super Mario Bros, and from right here on all the pieces could be an exponential growth in direction of the conquest of 3D, the launch of the PlayStation, the Xbox and handheld video video games…

Since then, the world of consoles and video video games has been a booming sector that has conquered minors and adults. In Spain, for instance, in line with information from the Spanish Video Game Association (AEVI), throughout the yr 2020 the sector had a turnover of 1,747 million euros, which represented a development of 18% in comparison with 2019, because of gross sales made digitally throughout the months of confinement because of the COVID well being disaster.

16 million avid gamers

Regarding the variety of customers, the Yearbook of the online game trade in Spain displays that in 2020 we’ve 16 million avid gamers, of which 46% correspond to ladies, which has additionally meant a rise in comparison with earlier years. The common time devoted to this exercise is within the 7.5 hours per week, a determine that, though it could appear extreme to us, is beneath European international locations in the environment such because the United Kingdom with 12.2 hours, France with 8.9 hours, Germany with 8.8 hours or Italy, with 8 hours per week.

And this, as has occurred in earlier many years with tv, when it’s associated to the use that minors make of expertise, all the time produces a avalanche of reactions, and as anticipated, lots of them excessive.

But enjoying video video games, as its personal etymology signifies, it’s one thing playful. And, as a leisure and leisure exercise, you’ll be able to even generate income for the individuals who do it. So, evaluate this exercise in a common and absolute manner, with out nuance, with the consumption of gear of abuse not solely irresponsible but additionally fallacious. In truth, in line with the Professor of Psychobiology and researcher on the Cognitive NeuroLab, Diego Redolar, it has been proven that enjoying motion video video games improves various kinds of care, enhance reminiscence, along with the velocity with which individuals course of the data, permitting better promptness of motion in strain conditions. Therefore, video video games have already begun for use in therapies to deal with melancholy and autism, as they assist enhance social behaviors and cut back the anxiousness of sufferers.


Laura Cuesta, expert in cyber communication and addiction prevention.
Laura Cuesta, skilled in cyber communication and dependancy prevention. | Raise your head

Why is there part of society in opposition to video video games?

Without a doubt, it isn’t one thing new and each the online game sector and followers of the world gamer have seen how their pastime, not like different leisure actions, has been all the time within the highlight accused of inflicting completely different damaging results on avid gamers: from enjoying violent video video games makes folks extra violent, that produce insulation, melancholy and anxiousness, even the addictive capability of those. But as with all software or software, not all video video games are the identical, some are on-line others offline, some are performed individually and others in a multiplayer model, many are free, others embrace micropayments…, not all of the individuals who use them, with their traits and private conditions, are the identical.

And inside this pattern of highlighting the damaging elements of video video games, it was a earlier than and after that in 2018 the WHO (World Health Organization) opened the talk within the scientific group as a draft of the ICD-11 to incorporate Video Game Disorder as a brand new psychological sickness. As diagnostic standards to have the ability to speak about a online game dysfunction, both with or with out an Internet connection, the WHO defines {that a}: a) Impaired management over playing (eg, onset, frequency, depth, period, termination, context); b) Increased precedence given to the sport to the diploma that it takes priority over different pursuits and actions of every day residing; and c) Continuation or improve of the sport regardless that it has damaging penalties. Like the DSM-5, it requires a interval of not less than 12 months for the analysis to be assigned.

And, although a big a part of the scientific group and research that help it, have been skeptical of this choice, since help that extreme or problematic conduct it may be a part of a psychological well being drawback that requires scientific consideration, however not in itself be an dependancy as such, since final January 1, 2022 formally the dysfunction has entered into drive within the International Classification of Diseases.

761 articles on problematic use

However, there’s one nice scientific manufacturing on online game dependancy in adolescents and younger folks, figuring out and reviewing as much as 761 articles revealed on the problematic use of video video games and online game dependancy in adolescents.

What can this truth imply, to any extent further, for the well being system or well being plans? Will they should be seen? new assets for remedy remedy of this new dysfunction?

Insurance corporations must assess whether or not they need to embrace of their well being agreements and packages the supply of psychologists and psychiatrists specialists in non-substance addictions, and on this case, in video video games, one thing harder if we take into consideration the capability of Public Health and the assets of Primary Care (the place it’s tough to consider therapeutic intervention past analysis and management). For this, clearly, the important thing might be in ‘provide and demand’, that’s, within the variety of instances that current a excessive prevalence, and in line with the ESTUDES 2018/19 survey, amongst college students between 14 and 18 years previous, solely 6 .1% would current a attainable online game use dysfunction in line with the dimensions primarily based on DSM-V standards. In truth, to this point there is just one identified scientific case of hospital admission for dependancy to a online game, which occurred in Castellón final September 2021.

On what they do agree each the avid gamers as well being professionals is within the hurt and dangers that the more and more excessive presence of playing in lots of video video games entails by way of the loot packing containers or loot chests. Because it is one factor to decide on to make micropayments in a free to play recreation, for a weapon or an additional life, and one other that, as a slot machine and with actual cash, and in a completely random manner, encourage you to get the FUT FIFA 22 gold pack or one of the best pores and skin to equip you for battle. Especially when the video video games the place these seem parts just like playing and betting they’ve a PEGI code for minors.

For all this, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, as has already been performed in different European international locations, has determined to manage the mechanics and design of loot packing containers. Something that isn’t going to be really easy with out first reforming the Gambling Law, since in line with the present playing regulation legislation: It is understood by game of chance according to the current law that you have to pay to participate, that there is an element of chance in determining its result or that the prize transferred to the winner is convertible into real currency”, which signifies that just one solely kind, of the 4 that there are of loot packing containers: that getting it within the recreation prices actual cash and the prize has an financial worth.

We will due to this fact have to attend for the Council of Ministers to approve within the second around the reform of the Gambling Regulation Law (13/2011) by Minister Alberto Garzón, of which the draft invoice has already been accepted, public publicity and all of the stories of the pertinent organisms had been issued, to reduce the dangers and damaging results that video video games current, particularly for youngsters and adolescents.

Laura Cuesta is a professor of Cybercommunication and New Media on the Camilo José Cela University (UCJC). Responsible for Digital Content of the Addiction Prevention Service of the Madrid City Council and specialist in Digital Education for households and minors.

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