Treatment needed for online game addiction hinh anh 1A forum in HCM City discusses the negative consequences caused by online game addition on June 16, organised by Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper in co-operation with Nguyen Tat Thanh University and companies. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - Few health facilities in Vietnam offer treatment for addiction to online games, which is considered a mental health condition by the World Health Organisation.

Dr Nguyen Van Ca, head of the Mental Health Department at Military Hospital 175, discussed the negative consequences of game addiction on Tuesday at a meeting organised by Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper in cooperation with Nguyen Tat Thanh University and companies.

“Sitting too long leads to metabolic disorders such as glucose and fat metabolism disorders, causing obesity,” Ca said. Blood supplied to the sex organs is also reduced by long periods of sitting.

Online game addicts, who could end up having reduced memory, are often in a state of anxious suspense and feel irascible, he said. Their personality begins to change.  

“Games create a virtual feeling of victory which negatively affects young people’s development. Online games are an invisible poison and they have negative consequences,” Ca said.

Early treatment and a favourable environment are necessary to prevent the problem.

Majority Le Hoang Viet Lam, a lecturer at People’s Security University, said that online games do not cause immediate negative consequences. They can be “mental health food”, but if young people do not control the amount of time they play games, “it will be very dangerous for them”.

Parents should educate their children about game addition and watch for signs of addition, he added.

Le Minh Dung of the HCM City Department of Information and Communication said the Government has issued many regulations on playing online games.

Players can be fined 2-3 million VND for selling and purchasing virtual devices and scores in games; and taking advantage of online games to commit legal violations, and causing social disorder and endangering national security.

Players who do not comply with regulations about the management of playing hours at public online game establishments can be fined 600,000 VND to 1 million VND.

According to the Vietnam National Institute of Mental Health, hundreds of patients every day seek mental health treatment for sleeplessness, memory disorders, schizophrenia and depression caused by game addiction.

Nguyen Dinh Doi, principal at Thanh Nhan High School, said online games were becoming a problem in Vietnam and other parts of the world. According to the school’s survey, more than 80 percent of its students play online games.

Students boarding at the school do not have electronic devices to play games, but they play the games when they go home for the weekend.

Bui Quang Trung, head of the communication and marketing department at Nguyen Tat Thanh University, said that students are at the “golden” age to develop their personality and most have a smartphone to assist them in studying. However, they often download and install online games on their phones./.