A while back I’ve approached the addictions topic, but not from a pathological point of view. It seems that the decision to include this video game addiction in their diseases classification (ICD), World Health Organization (WHO) provoked lots of discussions.
According to WHO, the behavior of playing video games can be defined as a “disease” if it comes with the following three characteristics:
“[..]the lack of control of playing video games, priority given to video games over other interests, and inability to stop playing video games even after being affected by negative consequences. [..]” – Wikipedia
In the same time, American Psychiatric Association (APA) did not recognize it as a disorder due to the lack of solid evidence, and they categorized this phenomenon as “condition requiring further study”.
Who is right? I don’t know, but in my opinion, this can create both positive and negative outcome. As a positive side, this thing draws attention and with this attention we might have more studies and more insights about this issue. Further more, being recognized as a problem, we might have more solutions. Also, I believe it’s a problem as long as other aspects of those people’s lives are impacted in a negative way.
The down side is that people tend to exaggerate so any person playing some video games can be seen as a sick person if the ones that see that behavior think the playing time is too much.
“APA has developed 9 criteria for characterizing the proposed Internet gaming disorder:
- Pre-occupation. Do you spend a lot of time thinking about games even when you are not playing, or planning when you can play next?
- Withdrawal. Do you feel restless, irritable, moody, angry, anxious or sad when attempting to cut down or stop gaming, or when you are unable to play?
- Tolerance. Do you feel the need to play for increasing amounts of time, play more exciting games, or use more powerful equipment to get the same amount of excitement you used to get?
- Reduce/stop. Do you feel that you should play less, but are unable to cut back on the amount of time you spend playing games?
- Give up other activities. Do you lose interest in or reduce participation in other recreational activities due to gaming?
- Continue despite problems. Do you continue to play games even though you are aware of negative consequences, such as not getting enough sleep, being late to school/work, spending too much money, having arguments with others, or neglecting important duties?
- Deceive/cover up. Do you lie to family, friends or others about how much you game, or try to keep your family or friends from knowing how much you game?
- Escape adverse moods. Do you game to escape from or forget about personal problems, or to relieve uncomfortable feelings such as guilt, anxiety, helplessness or depression?
- Risk/lose relationships/opportunities. Do you risk or lose significant relationships, or job, educational or career opportunities because of gaming?”
Source – Wikipedia
I like how APA is approaching this and it’s not jumping to conclusions without more research. Almost anything can be seen as an addiction if it is too much and I really hope that people won’t see video games as the devil from now on.
What’s your opinion about this?