WHO Lists ‘Gaming Disorder’ as New Mental Health Syndrome

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Lex Jurgen - December 27, 2017

In case you're not closely following the World Health Organization twitter feed, the worldwide body for science that was mildly relevant but five years ago, has announced it will be listing "Gaming Disorder" or video game addiction as a new official mental health condition. The research behind the announcement seems spotty at best, so assume somebody important has a kid who drops a turd in the corner when his parents turn off his Xbox and something had to be labeled to allow it to be called an illness. The WHO study found:

“Most people who play video games don’t have a disorder, just like most people who drink alcohol don’t have a disorder either. However, in certain circumstances overuse can lead to adverse effects.”

So, you're saying, playing too many hours of video gaming can have a negative effect on your life? Do you mean beyond being sexless, humorless, unemployed, and smelling like donkey ass? We figured those out during the Intellivision days back in the 80's.

The study found little correlation between gaming "addiction" and poor health. In their very own results, only 2-3 percent of thousands of surveyed gamers even met the baseline qualification for Gaming Disorder.

“Contrary to what was predicted, the study did not find a clear link between potential addiction and negative effects on health; however, more research grounded in open and robust scientific practices is needed to learn if games are truly as addictive as many fear.”

So (for the second time), you're classifying a new mental health disorder without any evidence but entirely based off a fear that it may exist? Isn't the exact opposite of how you handled The AIDS epidemic in Africa? Several million died. Everybody has a bad day.

(In my book Man Rules, I do heroically discuss the role of video gaming in a grown man's life.)

It's easy to pick on hardcore gamers because their multi-hour a day dedication to entirely self-indulgent pursuits implies they are not great people. If you're staring at any screen for untold hours and it has nothing to do with your job, you're more than less likely to be a drag on the world around you. That goes for gaming, porn, and Netflix. But there still ought be some science behind labeling people mentally ill. A whole bunch of other horrible shit can flow from that kind of diagnosis. 

Video gaming is addictive like sex is addictive. It feels good, so you do it. That's not insane logic, that's human nature. So is lack of control. Is WHO labeling plus sized models as mentally ill? Fat chance. Stick to what you know, WHO. Siphoning cash off your United Nations budget for junkets in the few nicer parts of North Africa.


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