With all the temptations of the everyday world all around us, who would have thought video game addiction would ever be a real thing? Yet, it is, according to Justin C. Williams medical laser enthusiast, and it’s growing in numbers every year. Video game addiction is not yet recognized by the American Medical Association, says Justin C. Williams, but in May 2019, the World Health Organization added “gaming disorder” to its long list of mental disorders.
Justin C. Williams medical laser enthusiast points out that the World Health Organization website* shows a pretty specific definition of an addict. It shows the definition of gaming disorder as “as a pattern of gaming behavior characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”
To Justin C. Williams medical laser enthusiast, that’s a pretty extreme definition. In fact, the World Health Organization says that this definition will include only a very small proportion of the global population; however, they go on to say, “people who partake in gaming should be alert to the amount of time they spend on gaming activities, particularly when it is to the exclusion of other daily activities, as well as to any changes in their physical or psychological health and social functioning that could be attributed to their pattern of gaming behavior.” This is alarming since up to 72% of young men ages 19 to 29 enjoy video games according to Pew Research Center on a survey* done about video game playing.
In his book* entitled Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction is Hijacking Our Kids – and How to Break the Trance, Dr. Nicholas Kardaras talks about the dangers of electronics and how they can affect us if we overdo it. He references brain-imaging studies of the effects of screen time and says that brain imaging shows actual changes that can occur as a result of too much time behind an electronic screen.
But Justin C. Williams medical laser enthusiast says although this may be true, whether someone has a problem with video game addiction isn’t something that can be measured with a clock. “I would think one would need to examine if gaming negatively affects the person,” he says. For example, if someone plays several hours a day yet is still able to get their schoolwork done, chores completed, and still maintains a healthy social life, can he really be considered an addict? Justin C. Williams says medical specialists should look at someone’s life in context and not simply go by a textbook definition. “I’m not a doctor,” he adds, “but I believe even I’d know the difference between a passionate hobby and addiction.
website* – https://www.who.int/features/qa/gaming-disorder/en/
survey* – https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/09/17/5-facts-about-americans-and-video-games/
book* – https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250097996