The World Health Organization (WHO) had a quite interesting thought that the gaming addiction can classify as a mental disorder. However, having the gaming controller in your hands for five hours is worrying and WHO suggests reviewing your life choices.
We suppose we are not the only ones who got quite angry with this decision, saying that gaming addiction is a mental disorder, meanwhile other addictions to technology are not classified as mental disorders. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the company which represents video game publishers, pleaded on this subject, advising for WHO to rethink their verdict on addiction to the video games is a mental disorder:
“Just like avid sports fans and consumers of all forms of engaging entertainment, gamers are passionate and dedicated to their time. Having captivated gamers for more than four decades, more than 2 billion people around the world enjoy video games. The World Health Organization knows that common sense and objective research prove video games are not addictive. And, putting that official label on them recklessly trivializes real mental health issues like depression and social anxiety disorder, which deserve treatment and the full attention of the medical community. We strongly encourage the World Health Organization to reverse direction on its proposed action.“
It is a possibility WHO to retract this decision, only because the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) has not received an addendum which states that the addiction is a mental disorder. But sadly, this does not mean that the ESA complaint will be taken into consideration.
What does this mean? Should video game addiction be classified as a mental disorder?