The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has necessitated physical distancing, lockdown, contact tracing, and self-quarantine so as to prevent the spread of the disease. Amid the outbreak, gaming data usage has reportedly increased in the United States, and game download volume has reached a record high in Europe. Because gaming can be used to cope with the psychological stress from the outbreak, therefore mental health professionals should be aware of how increased gaming during the pandemic may contribute to risk of gaming disorder, especially if the pandemic persists. Mental health professionals should thus formulate safe social interaction alternatives for people, particularly adolescents, who have gaming disorder risk.
Keywords: COVID-19; adolescents; gaming disorder; physical distancing; psychological impact.