When we talk about video game addiction, people usually think of children as spending too much time playing video games, sometimes more than 12 hours a day. When adults are no longer able to control the time they spend playing video games, or when their work and relationships suffer, they have crossed the line from recovery to addiction. Sources: 22, 25
Let me say this first: there is no magic number when it comes to how much time children should spend playing every day. However, many studies seem to say that five is the “magic number” and that the worries start when people spend 50 or more hours a week playing video games. If we want to underpin our days of playing with days without games, we should consider playing as much less a hobby and more a habit. Sources: 13, 15, 20
How much time should children play video games, and how can parents know how much of that is the right time? If you’re worried about the average time teenagers spend playing video games, it’s a good start to reduce it to 4-6 hours. Studies have shown that the risk of decreased working memory, depression, anxiety and other mental health problems is as low as 2 hours of playing a game a day. If there is no magic number for how many hours children should play each week, then play as little as possible and help more to keep children connected with peers and stay indoors safely. Sources: 1, 7, 9, 18Kinguin.net – Cheap Game CD Keys | Compare Prices and Buy
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Perhaps the hardest thing is that there is no cookie-cutter formula that determines how much video game time is too much or what limits and consequences are appropriate for your child. Parents and carers must be able to set limits to online games, including the type of games young children can play, how long they can play and the consequences. If you are worried about how much time you should spend playing games and playing less, there are a number of ways you and your children can reduce that time. Sources: 3, 12, 21
Radesky says it’s especially important to set clear expectations and limits for games so that you don’t elbow your child if they prefer video games. Parents can be worried if a child neglects homework while playing, gets up all night and gets a worse grade. If you see your children doing homework the next day or going to school, restrict the video game. Sources: 8, 11, 25
You may be concerned that your child spends too much time playing video games, that they are resisting the time they need to get out, or that playing games leads to an unhealthy, unbalanced lifestyle. Some argue, however, that the biggest indicator of a problem is not the time children spend playing, but how well they function. The academy believes there should be no numerical value in how many hours a day older children should have played. All we can really give you is research that does not suggest that the time you spend playing games was geared to determining whether a player is addicted. Sources: 10, 13, 15, 23
If someone plays more than a certain number of hours per week, you cannot say that they are addicted; no other hobby is addictive. People may be isolated from playing video games, but that doesn’t mean that everyone loses a bit of sleep playing them (though some do). People may be more comfortable with the time they spend playing a video game and playing for longer. Considering how long you should play video games is not really the hard part; it comes back when you stop playing at that time. Sources: 6, 14, 20
In video games, you have to be aware of how many hours you play before a game and how long you should play it. Sources: 19
If a person skips work to play video games, they are addicted, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Additionally, someone addicted to a video game avoids sleeping and eating to continue playing. Sources: 0, 16
After all, someone could spend many hours playing a video game just because they enjoy it, but they could also stop without much difficulty. If someone can’t stop playing video games when they know they should, they have an addiction to them. Sources: 2
How many hours a week do you watch other people play video games online, such as Twitch or YouTube Gaming? During this time, you spend much more time thinking about video games, learning about them and planning your next opportunity to play. Even if you don’t want to stop playing forever, there are ways to change your life by taking your time. Sources: 5, 17, 24
Parents may be concerned about the number of hours teenagers spend playing video games, but psychologists who study video game children say that parents need not worry about the amount of time they spend playing games, because screen time is beginning to affect school, health, and social life. If video games have the above-mentioned negative effects, parents should consider limiting their children’s playtime. A lot of play is good for your child’s mental health, physical and emotional well-being – so limit the amount of time your children play and the amount they play.