Poll: Should the Mental Health Community Officially Recognize "Video Game Addiction"?

May 2, 2014 - E. Zachary Knight

For many years, video games have been the subject of various studies, scares and outrages. One of the most common concerns over video games has been what many consider the addictive nature of games.

We have heard and read many stories about people playing games to the extent that they ignore their jobs, school, family, health, and even their family's health. Because of this behavior, many in the health sector, and many well outside the health sector, want to classify gaming addiction as an official mental disorder.

So we ask the question of you the readers and most likely game players, should video game addiction be officially recognized and classified as a mental disorder. Should it be treated any differently than other behavioral disorders such as gambling and sex addiction?

Do you have anything you wish to add? Let us know in the comments.

Andrew and I will discuss your answers and comments in the next episode of the Super Podcast Action Committee.

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Re: Poll: Should The Mental Health Community Officially ...

For me it comes down to what do we mean by 'recognize'.

People can be addicted to video games, just like people can be addicted to all sorts of activities.  The question becomes, is video game addiction different enough in terms of either diagnosis or treatment to warrant getting its own category.

When we look at the DSM, it does break down addiction into various types each with diagnosis criteria, and I am not sure of gaming addiction is different enough from one of the other existing categories (like gambling), but it could be argued that it represents a rather unique intersection of pieces that taking them into account might make sense.

From a treatment perspective, it probably should be something separate.   Nothing else is quite like gaming in how it combines feedback loops, escapism, and community, and thus it should probably have its own unique approaches to helping people.

So I guess on the whole I am in favor of it being 'recognized' by the mental health community, it is different enough in its manifestation and treatment that it should not simply be kludged into one of the existing categories like gambling.

 

 
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