Compulsive video game playing could now be counted among mental health issues, said WHO in its recent edition of a disease classification manual. The UN health agency also said spending excessive amount of time playing video games should be checked for avoiding dangers in the real world. This confirmed the concerns of few parents but also pushed critics to give a warning of the risk of stigmatizing numerous young gamers. According to the agency, healthcare workers, families, and governments could prepare themselves and be on their toes to determine the risks if ‘gaming disorder’ is classified as a separate addiction.
Proposal of Listing Gaming Disorder as New Problem Based on Scientific Evidence Accepted
With less than a 3% of all video game players believing not to be affected by gaming disorder, WHO and other experts were quick to note that the condition is still thin on the ground. The proposal of listing gaming disorder as a new health problem evidenced by science is said to be accepted by mental health and substance abuse director of WHO, Dr. Shekhar Saxena. However, the new designation might be a reason of unnecessary worry for parents, warned British Psychological Society spokeswoman, Dr. Joan Harvey. Medics will be flooded with requests if the idea that every child spending hours playing games is an addict holds true, she continued.
Nonetheless, WHO’s new classification was backed by others who said that it is critical to quickly identify people addicted to video games since they are generally young adults or teenagers who do not seek help all by themselves.