The topic of video game addiction became rather popular last summer after it was officially classified as a mental illness by the World Health Organization. The condition has become widespread among young kids and adults alike, with many ending up becoming recluses. In Japan, a lot of these people are referred to as being NEETs. So, how do you think a Japanese company feels about this?
During the Q&A session of Nintendo’s recent investor’s briefing, President Furukawa was asked about the condition and if Nintendo is trying to do anything to help curb it. Mr. Furukawa replied by saying the problem really lies with the players themselves rather than the actual video games. He said that some players become “overly dependent” on the games. As far as techniques to help qualm the issue are concerned, Furukawa pointed to the Parental Controls feature that the Switch has. This allows parents to determine how much time their child can spend playing games each day, and even restrict games from being played at all. Furukawa also mentioned that in addition to having this, he thinks that it’s something that can be further implemented.
The power lies in your hands
I personally think that Furukawa’s reasoning here does make sense, but it’s situational. While game developers can’t outright control what players do, some games are deliberately designed to be addictive, which generates more revenue. On the other hand, Furukawa’s point of some players becoming “overly dependent” on games is very true. The same way folks get addicted to food, drugs, alcohol and other things, is the same way game addiction is formed. All it really boils down to is self-control; we have to keep our own lives properly prioritized.
If you think you’re playing too much and not getting other important things done, try challenging yourself by setting a self-imposed time limit per day, or per week. Force yourself to stick to it and try to work your way into a healthier routine. The more you do it, the easier it will become.