This past week, the World Health Organization classified addicted gaming as a mental disorder. If you’re not already aware of the backlash on this one, you can pretty much just imagine how gamers the world over have felt about it.
There are many good reasons to NOT pick a fight with one of the most passionate communities on planet Earth, so why did the WHO do it anyway?
WHO leaders said it was a tough decision but that they felt they had to go ahead with the classification, based on their available data, to promote awareness of a potentially dangerous condition. Not dangerous in the sense that people are gonna get so hooked that they won’t pause the game to eat/shit/sleep. It’s more of a worry that gaming has the potential to take preference over other very important things. It’s part of this loose definition of addiction where it’s not about neural pathways in the brain as much as this question: is your obsession over ______ causing problems in your personal or professional life?
My urge is to call bullshit on the whole thing. Is it bad if a particular hobby takes preference over all else in a person’s life? Sure, potentially. Was there any good reason to single out gamers? Probably not.
But this is more of a conversation starter than a final analysis. So you tell me: is the problem that a statement like this contains such a huge No-duh Factor? I’ve been trying to imagine the poor sap who has a legitimate problem with over-gaming and THIS is the thing that pulls him out of it. ‘Oh, THAT’S why my life is garbage. Thank goodness someone told me.” That’s not really how it works.
Like I said, this is the part where you chime in. Does it feel like game-shaming? Is this the start of a slew of gaming-based interventions? How will TLC turn this into an awful reality show?