Gaming males are getting so caught up with their hobby that they are lashing out at children when their games are interrupted, sometimes with fatal consequences, a general practitioner has warned.
New Zealand paediatrician Dr Eleanor Carmichael, from Waikato Hospital, told Fairfax NZ she frequently witnessed cases where a young man had abused a child because a game was disturbed.
"You sit down, take a bit of P, start your PlayStation game, the baby starts to cry, you're in a hurry to pick it up and settle it down before you lose your place," she said.
A recent example was when five-month-old Mikara Reti was hit so hard he died and his liver was almost split in two.
Trent Hapuku, 23, was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced this month to nine years in prison.
Hapuku had been left alone with his partner's child in January last year.
Prosecution lawyers argued Hapuku was focused on beating his high score in PlayStation game Scarface.
When the toddler interrupted the game, Hapuku fatally struck him.
Hapuku then continued playing his game.
When Mikara's mother returned she found her partner playing PlayStation and holding Mikara over his left shoulder.
She drove him to hospital but the baby was unable to be resuscitated.
Dr Carmichael said new boyfriends moving in with their partner and children without parenting experience could also be a dangerous situation.
Some men may be motivated to turn their lives' around, but others never bond with the children, she said.
At the time of Mikara's death, Reti was pregnant to Hapuku and has since given birth.
Their son, Elijah, is now nine months old, but the family have cut connections with Hapuku.