An estimated 2.4 percent of the population from 9 to 39 are believed to be suffering from game addiction, according to a government-funded survey. Another 10.2 percent were found to be “borderline cases” at risk of addiction — defined as an obsession with playing electronic games to the point of sleep deprivation, disruption of daily life and a loosening grip on reality. Such feelings are typically coupled with depression and a sense of withdrawal when not playing, counselors say.
We have reported on a similar phenomenon, “internet addiction.” I think the objection that was raised by commenters there could also apply to video game addiction: is gaming addition a discrete problem, or simply the focus of a larger problem in the individual?
Regardless of the answer to that question, the scale of the problem in South Korea is quite disturbing.