Should 'Gaming Disorder' Be Considered An Addiction?

Published: Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - 2:02pm
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The World Health Organization announced last week that it was officially classifying “gaming disorder” as a mental health condition in its 11th edition of its International Classification of Diseases.

That’s good news for many parents around the world who have watched as their kids seem glued to the screen, playing video games as compulsively as drug users.

But not all psychologists agree with the move. The Media Psychology and Technology division of the American Psychological Association released a statement calling the decision “more a product of moral panic than good science.” UNICEF is also arguing against using addiction language to describe children and their use of technology.

Dr. Kimberly Young is one of those in support of this move. She is the founder of the Center for Internet Addiction and she thinks officially classifying “gaming addiction” will only help those who suffer from addictions like this.

On the other side of this argument is Dr. Chris Ferguson. He was one of 28 scholars who wrote to the WHO protesting this decision.

He calls the idea of a “gaming disorder” a myth based on worries about the effects of technology in today’s society, and classifying it as a mental health condition could have real consequences.

Dr. Young and Dr. Ferguson both joined The Show today to discuss this topic.

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