The people at the World Health Organization need a hobby. The mental health problem du jour requiring intervention and treatment, according to them, is none other than spending entirely too much time gaming.
In its latest revision to a disease classification manual, the U.N. health agency said Monday that compulsively playing video games now qualifies as a mental health condition. The statement confirmed the fears of some parents but led critics to warn that it may risk stigmatizing too many young video players.
WHO said classifying “gaming disorder” as a separate addiction will help governments, families and health care workers be more vigilant and prepared to identify the risks. The agency and other experts were quick to note that cases of the condition are still very rare, with no more than up to 3 percent of all gamers believed to be affected.
Dr. Shekhar Saxena, director of WHO’s department for mental health and substance abuse, said the agency accepted the proposal that gaming disorder should be listed as a new problem based on scientific evidence, citing “the need and the demand for treatment in many parts of the world.”
So now kids go through a video gaming phase and they’re addicted to it? Yes, the activity is compulsive, but so is sex and masturbation. WHO is not suggesting kids give up either of those activities.
Too much of any one thing is bad for us. We all know that. When it comes to video games and those who play them a lot, the big danger has always been developing blood clots in the legs due to inactivity. Getting kids to get up and move is actually the parent’s responsibility.
What the real purpose of labeling obsessive compulsive gaming a disorder is is anyone’s guess. Probably just another excuse to throw money at a problem that doesn’t really exist.