Video game addiction not a disorder

Written by Joe Martin

June 25, 2007 | 11:12

Tags: #addict #addiction #crave #disorder #expert #warcraft

Companies: #game

We're going to start by assuming that our readers don't currently suffer from video game addiction - if you did then you'd doubtlessly be too busy playing WoW, or as it's more affectionately known, World of Warcrack, to even bother reading this article. Unless you have a dual screen set-up and an inhuman propensity for multi-tasking.

Still, it may come as a relief that according to a panel of 'Addiction Experts' who recently met in Chicago, video game addiction is actually not a mental disorder.

The experts were strongly opposed the idea that video game addiction was a mental disorder, and attributed it to being on the same level as alcoholism and gambling addiction at the American Medical Association's annual meeting.

Game addiction is estimated to affect about ten percent of game players and has reportedly led to deaths in some cases when MMO players have refused to leave their terminals.

"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 Dr. Stuart Gitlow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine to Reuters yesterday.

If video game addiction were classed as a mental disorder then it would have massive affects for the insurance business, especially where gamers are concerned. The proposal that video game addiction be classified as a mental disease has since been dropped however, with experts citing further investigation is needed.

Speaking from personal experience, we are well aware of how video game addiction can affect people and damage lives, though most people can overcome gaming addiction with the support of friends and family, sometimes further intervention is required.

Have you ever suffered from gaming addiction, or known anyone who has? Are games a harmless hobby, or does everything have an element of risk? Drag yourself away from that CounterStrike Tournament and get on down to the forums to let us know your thoughts.
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