More than ever, mental wellness is a big focus of day-to-day life. People face a lot of stress and have to find a way to cope with everything that is thrown at them. One such way that people escape is through their hobbies, and gaming is one of them, as in today’s digital age technology has become an integral part of our lives.

Just as gambling and sports betting at legal platforms listed by Match Center and other similar websites can be a healthy and fun way to spend free time and release stress, immersive video games plus online multiplayer interaction can also be a thrilling way to diversify your life experience. 

But as with anything, that can go beyond just being a casual pastime and start sliding into a more problematic situation . When a person goes over the limits, it can slip into an addiction:  sometimes people do it subconsciously like with food, alcohol and social media. Even things considered super healthy, like exercise, can be done to excess because of addiction!

Gaming disorder is a pattern of gaming behavior 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.

So let’s have a closer look at gaming disorder and some of its symptoms.

Taking Control

As soon as you recognise or see the signs of gaming disorder happening in someone else, it’s time to take action. If you take an example of gambling sites, they have a lot of tools in place, like deposit limits, bet limits and even self-exclusion from sites. However, for gaming disorder, ways of dealing with it are still evolving. The World Health Organization placed gaming disorder as a mental health condition in 2022, after being backed by research and input from experts who concluded that it refers to a pattern of excessive and compulsive gaming behavior that can take precedence over other life interests and daily activities.

5 Key Symptoms of Gaming Disorder

By no means is the following list a comprehensive one. There are other symptoms and it will be on an individual basis as to which of them present themselves. But it can be used as a guideline for at least knowing where to look.

Withdrawal Symptoms

A big sign of a lot of addiction problems is withdrawal symptoms and it is no exception for gaming disorder. When being in a position of not being able to play, symptoms of unfavourable moods like irritability, restlessness and depression can present themselves.

Loss of Control

When someone has trouble stopping playing and pulling away from gaming, that in and of itself can signify a problem. Being unable to cut down on playing time can drastically affect other areas of life, such as lack of sleep.


Another potential sign of gaming disorder is a preoccupation with playing. If thoughts of gaming constantly occupy the mind while not playing, it can cause huge distractions and lead to a loss of interest in other areas of life. It may be an obsession with planning the next gaming session or being concerned about a certain strategy.

Concealing Gaming Habits

It’s possible to reach a point of being embarrassed about the amount of time spent gaming. This can lead to lies about how much a person is doing it and lead them to try to hide just how much playing time is really happening.

Sleep Disruption

Lack of sleep in and of itself is a huge health problem. When someone is forsaking getting some shut-eye for more playing time, that should raise big concerns. It all ties in with other areas too, like not stopping playing being a way to detrimentally fend off withdrawal symptoms. 

Help Is Out There

Online gaming should and can be a safe environment for people. Like with any hobby or interest, it has to be taken with a measure of balance. There’s inherently nothing wrong with dipping into a game to release some stress for an hour. It can be a fun, carefree way to spend some downtime.

But it should not extend to long sessions where other responsibilities are forsaken. Seeking professional help is advisable should you recognise symptoms of gaming disorder in yourself. Never be afraid to talk to people, even friends and family for support and feedback.

In Summary

The digital age has brought some new problems with it. Whether it is reaching for a mobile phone in any spare second of the day, bingeing streaming services through to excess gaming, the digital age has presented some things that everyone could perhaps benefit from taking a step back from.

Moderation is the keyword here for everything, as it can be a tremendous preventative measure against addictive behaviours setting in. Having a day of balance is one of the best ways to raise mental and physical well-being.

Awareness is a key component as well. Just knowing that this is a serious problem area, and sharing information with others, keeping an eye on yourself and those around you is an important part of having a positive gaming lifestyle experience.