New research has shown that young children who play games exhibit signs of a gambling addiction such as becoming irritable when not playing, and lying about how much they play.
1,178 children aged between 8 to 18 were surveyed, and over 90% played computer games. A fifth of the children said they had performed badly in exams or schoolwork as they been playing games instead of studying. A quarter said they played games to escape problems.
It is thought that a having a gaming addiction and doing badly in school are linked, but which one develops first is unclear.
Douglas Gentile, from the National Institute on Media and the Family at Iowa State University, where the study took place, said: “While the medical community currently does not recognise video game addiction as a mental disorder, hopefully this study will be one of many that allow us to have an educated conversation on the positive and negative effects of video games.”