Medical and addiction experts, charities and parents are becoming increasingly concerned about the amount of time children are spending playing online games as figures show that UK spending on titles such as League of Legends, World of Warcraft and Grand Theft Auto will top £3bn this year. Dr Aric Sigman, a freelance lecturer in child health, said he had heard from a number of doctor’s surgeries that parents were asking for sleeping pills for their children. “Whether you call it an addiction or not, this is an enormous and growing problem,” he said. The charity Action for Children says that a quarter of parents rank their children’s screen time, and how to control it, as their greatest challenge – bigger than the traditional issues of homework or healthy eating. “We were surprised it came top. We hadn’t picked up that it was such a big issue,” says the charity’s managing director, Carol Iddon. “With gaming, children get a lot of satisfaction and positive reinforcement, it can build their confidence. But that can make it become addictive.” Ben Jones (not his real name) a gamer known by his online persona of Onibobo, is part of the growing sub-culture of young people,… Read full this story
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