Sony CEO Says Gaming Addiction Should Be Taken Seriously, Needs "Countermeasures"

The World Health Organization’s decision to formally recognize gaming addiction as a disorder is one that sounds like it’ll have some interesting implications in the future, but for now, Sony’s CEO is on board with working to combat gaming addiction. Prior to the WHO passing judgement on gaming addiction and deciding to acknowledge it as a disorder, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida spoke to various news outlets including Kyodo News and made his own stance on the situation known by saying people need to “take it seriously” and that “countermeasure” should be adopted.

Yoshida’s comments were made days ago before the WHO made its call, but they’re especially relevant now that the decision has been made. Kyodo News reported on Yoshida’s comments, though the CEO didn’t offer any more on how the company plans on countering the newly recognized disorder.

“We need to take it seriously and adopt countermeasures,” Yoshida said with no further insights given.

The CEO did acknowledge that Sony’s already got some systems in place to tackle certain problems which arise from younger players having access to a wide array of games on the PlayStation 4. The standard age rating system games abide by was mentioned as well as Sony’s “own standards.”

“We've already implemented a ratings system (to restrict players by age) and have been taking measures based on our own standards,” Yoshida said, according to Kyodo news.

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While the future will determine what steps Sony and other companies take to combat gaming addictions, Sony’s policies in particular have been addressed recently when it comes to in-game content. A report surfaced back in April that suggested Sony had been cracking down on sexual content in games. However, other representatives from Sony made comments afterwards that suggested policies that target this type of content have always been in place and are simply being enforced stricter now.

The World Health Organization described a “gaming disorder” as “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior, which may be online or offline.” Now that it’s been officially recognized as a disorder, nations within the organization have much implement treatment and prevention measures beginning in 2022.