Problematic Gaming

For the vast majority of children and young people gaming will not cause a major problem. There can be positive aspects of gaming, for example fitness and education. There are four reasons why children and young people play games;

  • Fun/Challenge
  • Alleviate from Boredom
  • Escapism from stressors
  • Social (peer playing games)

The World Health Organisation’s definition of problematic gaming is; “As a pattern of gaming behaviour (“digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.” To be diagnosed the behaviour needs to show significant impairment in personal, family, social, education or other areas of functioning and normally be evident for at least 12 months.

It is estimated that between 1.2% to 5.4% of children and young people have problematic gaming behaviour. In Tameside is between 573 and 2580 children and young people.

Signs of Gaming Disorder

There is no one sign that indicates problematic gaming however here are some common themes that could identify problematic gaming;

  • Preoccupation with gaming
  • Giving up other activities for gaming
  • Continuing to play despite problems caused by gaming
  • Using gaming to escape adverse moods
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not gaming
  • Unsuccessful attempts to reduce or stop gaming
  • Deceiving or covering up gaming

Understanding Parental Controls

This website provides information about understanding parental controls for specific phones, gaming devices, online and social media;

Advice Around Gaming

Internet Matters offers advice for schools and professionals in relation to gaming and is broken down into school age categories.

Here are some general support websites and helplines if you think a child is having problems with gaming addiction;

Healthy Young Minds is a Tameside NHS resource that supports children and families around mental health.

What to do if you are worried about a child

If you think a child is being abused or mistreated or you have concerns about a child’s well-being please contact one of the numbers shown on this page.

Your phone call could help to safeguard a child who may be at risk.

If the situation is immediately dangerous for the child then ring 999 and ask for the Police.

If the child is not in immediate danger contact:

Children's Hub

  • Monday to Friday during office hours - 0161 342 4101
  • Monday to Friday outside office hours and weekends and public holidays – 0161 342 2222
  • GM Procedures Manual
  • Safeguarding concerns can be reported to the Children's Hub using the Online Electronic Referral form