Stop the gaming addiction among Gen Z


There is a silent addiction to video games that is creeping up among Generation Z (Gen Z).

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There is a silent addiction to video games that is creeping up among Generation Z (Gen Z).

Despite some of them being aware of the serious effects of being addicted to video gaming, they are still obsessed with the pastime.

In a recent incident in Kiambu on Wednesday last week that caused an uproar, a 15-year-old boy reportedly committed suicide following an argument with his parents over his spending too much time playing video games.

This is not the first time we are hearing such a story; it has been a ticking bomb in modern society.

Gen Z is grossly misusing the internet. For most of them, gaming is an enjoyable hobby and a great way to bond with friends and family. But it can be more than that: A disorder. 

Gen Z, most of whom are still in high school or college, make up the majority of video gaming addicts.

A Journal Addictive Behaviors study last year found more than 19 per cent of males and 7.8 per cent of females among 3,000 students to have a gaming disorder. They play using a computer, mobile device or console.

Kenya is one of the most prominent video gaming hubs in Africa. Video games in the country include Candy Crush, Mortal Kombat, Fifa football, Minecraft, Hunter Assassin and NBA.

Gen Z spend a lot of time on games instead of using them beneficially.

Parents in Kiambu complain that their children spend too much time on video games, which makes them lazy. They don’t concentrate in class and, since playing the games requires one to pay, they steal from them.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), gaming addiction has been identified as a mental condition.

Several studies show that excessive gaming can lead to poor mental health among Gen Z.

A video player addict exhibits signs such as restlessness, self-isolation, irritability, fatigue, laziness and migraines caused by intense concentration. It is, therefore, time we raised the alarm.

Addiction to video gaming results in poor sleep and diet and isolation. Some hide in the name of online ‘friends’ and this reduces their public speaking skills.

They cannot perform well at school due to anxiety, a mental disorder that can cause aggressiveness among teenagers when imitating their favourite actor.

Parents, guardians and partners should help the affected Gen Z to seek help. Game Help Kenya can create awareness of the bad effects of video gaming addiction and devise measures to curb the disturbing menace.

Security agencies should arrest and prosecute the owners of illegal play stations, which are draining money from teenagers in the name of a business.

Gen Z should wake up and face reality by running away from that addiction if they want to have a good future.

Let the government also make counselling services easily accessible to Gen Z who show signs of gaming addiction. Let’s save the Gen Z boat from capsizing.

Rodgers Otiso & Anne Akinyi, Migori