WINTER STORM: Get early dismissal and school closing information here

Experts say children are developing video game addiction

NEW YORK — Revenue from video games is expected to reach $100 billion this year and kids are logging more playing hours than ever.

According to Nielsen, the average amount of time people in the US aged 13 and older spend playing video games each week rose to 7.8 hours in 2017, up 60% from 2011.

Even the World Health Organization expressed their concern, adding gaming disorder to its International Classification of Diseases.

“They are absolutely addictive. They affect the same part of the brain that we see with gambling and other types of addictions,” says Dr. Jodi Gold, Director of The Gold Center for Mind, Health and Wellness and author of Screen Smart Parenting.

Experts say developers are finding new ways to keep kids engaged, from free games available on multiple devices, to its social network aspect.

Games like Fortnite, which has accumulated at least 125 million players since its July 2017 debut, is constantly adding new updates.

How can families find that happy medium of screen time?

“What does not work is to say that you can play for an hour, you can play for 35 minutes,” Dr. Gold said.

“You need to tell your child, all right I’m going to play to the next level, or if that takes too long I agree I’ll get off in 30 minutes.”