Recently WHO (World Health Organization) announced that they will be including “gaming disorder” as a mental disease in 2018, alongside the likes of gambling and alcohol addiction.
How Did This Come About?
Many Experts debated if “gaming disorder” was actually a thing. A 2009 study in a Physological Journal estimated that 8.5% of youth who played video games in the US, showed behavioral signs of addiction.
Some believe that its very similar to drug and alcohol addiction, which could explain why publishers like EA and Activision are trying to create a ‘Games As Service’ model. Meaning they want people to keep playing and paying.
Others like Chris Ferguson argue that WHO’s decision was “poorly thought out”, stating “gaming is often used as a coping mechanism for these problems”.
However, I’ll have to disagree with Chris. Gaming has been around for more than a few decades, which has given us plenty of time to “think about” gaming addiction and how it could impact on our lives.
Take World Of Warcraft for example, which was released in 2004 by Blizzard. It was one of the early MMO titles which featured a payed subscription fee in order to play continuously. This resulted in many people being invested for longer hours because it had been given a real world value now.
You couldn’t just stop playing, otherwise you would’ve wasted your money. The game was also expansive which helped enhance those addictive qualities.
I think everyone knew that, including Southpark…
My point is everything can be addictive, and there were no “poorly thought out” decisions. People (myself including) are different and we all react differently.
I play games all the time, and I know the effects it could potentially have on me if I wound up being too invested in a game.
I think the reason its only being recognized now, is due to the huge rise in predatory practices in gaming; that saw an increased understanding among the mainstream public.
How Is It Identified
According to the WHO scientific and research journal, “Gaming Disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior” stating, “to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities”.
Don’t panic if your man (or lady) is showing these signs for a day or two though, It’d have to be going on for a “period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned”.
Technology can be dangerous. Think back to a time, where there were no phones or computers. Did you see an increased level of interaction between you and your friends and family?
Steve Jobs in an interview said that he didn’t allow his kids to use IPad’s because he recognized that they were “too dangerous in effect”…
Step In The Right Direction
WHO is taking the step in the right direction, nothing can be taken lightly or ridiculed because we are always rapidly advancing. It takes time for humans to adjust to new environments, so I think trying to manage it now will only benefit our societies growth.
Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.
Take care guy’s and have a great day!