Experts: Video games not an addiction

Experts: Video games not an addiction, Reuters

This is a follow-on to the previous post…

Doctors backed away on Sunday from a controversial proposal to designate video game addiction as a mental disorder akin to alcoholism, saying psychiatrists should study the issue more.

So the headline is a little misleading. The real punch line is that they tabled discussion and agreed to revisit the issue after further study.

Even before debate on the subject began, the committee that made the proposal backed away from its position, and instead recommended that the American Psychiatric Association consider the change when it revises its next diagnostic manual in 5 years.

The Entertainment Software Association, which represents the $30 billion global video game industry, said more research is needed before video game addiction should be categorized as a mental disorder.

Okay, so the headline is entirely off-base. There were some experts cited who believed that video games were not addictive, but that just reinforces that there’s still debate on the issue, since there are clearly individuals who believe that gaming is addictive and others who believe it is not.

My opinion hasn’t changed (see last post). I suspect there are some complex dynamics at play, not the least of which is lobbying by both the health insurance industry and the Entertainment Software Association. The psychological issues are complex, but I’m sure that the political and financial issues are just as tricky…

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