FARGO, N.D. (KVLY) -- You've probably heard before that too much screen time can be addictive. Maybe you've experienced it yourself. Now the World Health Organization is validating this concern when it comes to gaming, at least.
In Monday’s newest international classification of diseases draft, it characterizes "gaming disorder" as one due to addictive behavior.
Nikki Tucker, said she could easily get hooked on a game when she was younger.
"I'm a big gamer,” she said, “I grew up gaming, I lived in front of the television for my youth."
Now that she's a mom of two, she tries to get more creative with her and her children’s time.
"We read that two hours is supposed to be the limit per day“and we strictly adhere to that,” Tucker said.
Her 13-year-old son, Julius Tucker, said he can understand how games can be addictive.
"Some video games are really, really, really good, they just want to make you play more," he said.
In fact, "gaming disorder" is now officially recognized as a disease by the World Health Organization.
Cam Adair founded Game Quitters, a support community for game addiction, after he recognized he was addicted. He spent years bringing awareness to what is now officially a health issue.
"It's a really big day for us,” Adair said. “Especially for me having spent the last seven years pounding my head against the wall trying to get people to care about this."
Adair didn’t notice the signs of his addiction right away, but later he did.
"Deceiving my family to continue to play, pretending to have jobs, getting to the point where I dropped out of school," he explained.
Adair said it started when kids bullied him in the eighth grade.
That's why Debbie Svobodny, an integrative health therapist, said you can't just look at this as a regular addiction.
"A gaming addiction could be compared to a substance use,” she said. “That's one component of it, where maybe you're isolated, you're really addicted to something, and you can't fight the urge of that."
She says you also have to look at the root cause: like bullying.
"A gaming addiction means that you're spending 20 hours a week, 12 months in duration, every single week on video games, and that you're isolated from peers, friends. It's consuming of your environment,” she said.
Like any addiction, it can be tough to break; especially in some areas of the country where for most of the year, it's often too cold to get out of the house.
Which is why mom, Nikki Tucker's family has lots of Legos, board-games and creativity.
"We do puzzles, we set up other projects,” she said. “I'm into science, so my daughter does slime, I do science experiments in our home."
To check out the support community for gaming addiction and take a quiz to see if you yourself are addicted to gaming, visit https://gamequitters.com.