It is clear that the video game industry still has many misconceptions. It seems that when violent events occur, it’s not long before experts blame video gaming. The World Health Organization is in the process of revising their disorder classifications, and video gaming might be classified as a new mental disorder. The phenomenon is known as Gaming Disorder, and will likely become an official mental illness.
Although this disorder isn’t new, many experts have concerns with these plans. Someone that displays a lack of control over gaming, like putting it as a priority over other projects, certainly needs help. However, that doesn’t give anyone a reason to say it is a mental illness right away. There could be many reasons for people to lose themselves for several hours a day in the virtual gaming world.
Addiction to video games is a very tangible issue that needs to be resolved as early as possible. However, the WHO defines Gaming Disorder as frequent gaming behavior. Ironically, the concept of playing these games is to do so in a persistent manner. But not in excess. There is a serious lack of understanding of how video games are supposed to work.
It wasn’t long until an open letter was published in regards to the classification of a Gaming Disorder. While compulsive gaming is an issue, making a new label out of nowhere to classify those that play video games seems a bit ridiculous. And there are also hundreds of professional video gamers that make a living by playing games. There are even people in gaming leagues which are professional organizations. In that case, all of those professionals and their families would suffer from this new “illness.”
Misdiagnosing individuals with a mental disorder is nothing to take lightly. The negative effects of creating this disorder shouldn’t go overlooked. Scientific research would also slow down as scientists would only be confirming the diagnosis instead of discovering the differences between pathological and normal.
It is clear that the WHO is trying to label people in any way possible. Anyone that veers from their idea of “normal” must have a mental condition. However, this isn’t right in the slightest bit. Video games are harmless, and it is up to every individual that plays games to set their own boundaries. Parenting also has a significant impact on this process. However, WHO doesn’t seem to mention that.