Compulsive video game playing declared as mental health condition

Announcement made by The World Health Organization

By Nicky Zizaza - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Top international health officials have declared compulsive video game playing as a mental health condition.

"You look for drop in grades, isolation sometimes, deciding not to go out with their friends to do things, they quit playing sports or they want to quit playing sports," said Jim West, president of Total Life Counseling Center.

The announcement by the World Health Organization to add gaming disorder to list of globally recognized diseases does not surprise West.

"This is a problem, a big problem. So twice a day at my practice, this comes up and I see maybe five or six clients a day," he said.

Some of his clients suffer from extreme cases of hazardous gaming.

"Video games in themselves are not the problem, it's how much they are playing," he said.

Some gamers said they go too far.

"I think I've definitely had my spurts where you can just sit at the computer and you think it's been five minutes and then its been five hours so I can definitely see how I can get so invested in it," Jaycie Majcher said.

Entertainment Software Association issued a statement about the latest announcement:

"The WHO is an esteemed organization and its guidance needs to be based on regular, inclusive, and transparent reviews backed by independent experts. 'Gaming disorder' is not based on sufficiently robust evidence to justify its inclusion in one of the WHO's most important norm-setting tools."

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