Last year the World Health Organization (WHO) decided that they would classify “gaming disorder” as a mental health issue. Unsurprisingly there were some who disagreed with this, but now it looks like the WHO is back with a new mental health problem that they have classified, which according to the organization is “compulsive gaming”.
There are some who have praised the WHO’s initiative, claiming that it will help identify those who might be addicted to games early on, such as those in their teens or who are young adults who might not seek help themselves. According to Dr. Henrietta Bowden-Jones, a spokeswoman for behavioural addictions at Britain’s Royal College of Psychiatrists, “We come across parents who are distraught, not only because they’re seeing their child drop out of school, but because they’re seeing an entire family structure fall apart.”
However just like the WHO’s previous classification, there are some who disagree with this decision and claim that such a move may risk stigmatizing younger players. According to Dr. Mark Griffiths who has been researching the concept of gaming disorders for the past three decades, “Video gaming is like a non-financial kind of gambling from a psychological point of view. Gamblers use money as a way of keeping score whereas gamers use points.”
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