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  1. ITV Report

Special Report: Harmless pastime or potential addiction: is gaming harming our children?

Special Reports: is gaming harming our children? Photo:

It's the addiction that can tear many families apart.

If you have children of almost any age you probably won't need telling about the pull of computer games.

Many children play them for hours on end often neglecting school work and skipping meals.

Such is the concern over the craze, the World Health Organisation has now classified video gaming addiction as a mental health problem.

In the first of two special reports Rachel Townsend speaks to one family who's twin boys love gaming and looks at the psychological effects gaming can have on youngsters and their families:

There's been a dramatic rise in the number of people seeking help for computer game addiction.

Such is the concern for the condition, treatment could soon be available on the NHS.

One private treatment centre in the North West has seen a 300 per cent increase in the number of people booking themselves into rehab over the last four years.

Counsellors there say people are skipping meals and neglecting person hygiene to grab a few more minutes playing a computer game.

Schools too have recognised the problem and are working with parents to try and keep children on track.

Rachel Townsend now has the second of our two reports into computer gaming addiction.