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Gaming addiction... a mental disorder?

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 23/06/07 - 9:10 PM Permalink

  • 1. Anonymous - Sat, 23 Jun 2007 21:52:02 ESTDoctors certificate here I come!
  • 2. Anonymous - Sun, 24 Jun 2007 10:58:13 ESTi think it has more to do the person.
    some people have addictive and obsessive personalities.
    if it wasn't games it'd be something else.
  • 3. Apologetic Abuser - Mon, 25 Jun 2007 12:02:24 ESTNot a laughable matter.

    Everything can be enjoyed in moderation, it's a pity that Games are still being stereo-typed for this kind of stuff. It's the people, not the product.

  • 4. Souri - Tue, 26 Jun 2007 06:15:49 ESTAn interesting update to this story - the doctors who proposed that "game addiction" should be classified as a mental disorder and should be included in manuals on mental illness, have backed off on it. "There is nothing here to suggest that this is a complex physiological disease state akin to alcoholism or other substance abuse disorders, and it doesn't get to have the word addiction attached to it," said an addiction expert.

    I remember reading an article by some games journalist who frowned on game reviewers using the words "addiction" or "addicting" to describe a game for a similar reason. I'm sure there are much better ways to describe what a game does to you or compels you to keep playing, whereas "addiction" gives an entirely different and incorrect impression.

    <a href="…">Reuters</a> has the article...

  • 5. Anonymous - Tue, 26 Jun 2007 17:23:30 ESTToo bad :(

    I wouldve had an excuse on why i play so much warcraft ><

  • 6. Anonymous - Wed, 27 Jun 2007 09:39:23 ESTWhat a load of rubbish.
  • 7. Anonymous - Thu, 5 Jul 2007 11:04:52 ESTA few hours? .. a day is his Mom a Jerry Springer addict?
    A few hours a day whether TV , a movie or games doesnt make an A student fail.
    Doctors make this crap up as its in their economic interest ...Did you know there is NO
    factual evidence ADHD exists I say bad parenting maybe teachers being bullied going through
    hormonal changes .
    I bet you the 5000 in working hours is more than the hours of time (per hourly wage) spent talking to
    someone as a friend family member mentor and or coach

Doctors in the USA are pushing to have "video game addiction" listed as a psychiatric disorder, in order to raise awarness and enable sufferers to be able to use their medical insurance to pay for treatment.

The article focuses on a case wherby an American teenager was transormed over two years, from an outgoing, academically gifted teen into a "reclusive manipulator", who flunked 10th grade. The boy was apparently addicted to World of Warcraft, and would play for several hours a day. The worried parents took the boy to therapists and tried taking the game away, which prompted a retaliation of verbal abuse and threats of physical abuse. They eventually managed to find a therapist who backed up their "video game addiction" claim and had the boy sent to a theraputic boarding school costing $US5,000 a month, for which their medical insurance would not cover as the "disorder" is not recognised.

The standard response from gamers is normally to the effect of "What a load of rubbish!". But while the majority of the population are quite capable of balancing life and games, there will always be those who take it to the extreme. In Korea, this can lead to a successful career in online sports, in China this can lead to a "gold farming" job, but in some cases it can lead to depression, and in a few isolated and extreme cases, death.

But what if video game addiction WAS classed as a medical disorder? Is there the potential that the video game industry could benifit from this, as extreme cases are caught before they go to far and are sensationalised in the media? Also, imagine being able to claim symptoms of video game addiction on your medical insurance. "Doctor, my Nintendonitis is flaring up again".