Well, Keith Bakker was right after all: game addiction exists. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes game addition as an official addiction from 1945 onwards. Is not nothing new of course, because already in 2011 the phenomenon was already examined at the Erasmus University and it showed that there certainly are a lot of young people who have an unhealthy relationship with electronic entertainment.
But what exactly are the criteria of ” 6C51 Gaming disorder “? It is a pattern of repeated playing of digital games where there is a ‘weakened control’ of how long, how often and when it is played and – not unimportantly – when it is time to stop. In addition, there must be a priority problem, in which gaming is done above all else, whether that is important business or social interaction. The last step is the most logical for common sense: continue while negative consequences start to occur by playing games .
Not so easy
While the addiction is now officially recognized, there are already thousands of people in therapy for this problem, so it seems a little mustard after the meal. Then it is completely surprising that there are scientists who find it too too early to put game addiction on the list. According to them, more research is needed before the official classification can come.
However, they have a good story. The problem with game addiction is that it is not always a cause of psychological problems, but can just as well be a symptom. The line between people who like to play games and those who suffer from it is already thin, but it gets even more complicated when you consider how many different roles gaming can play in someone’s life.
There are people who (online) play to expel their loneliness and still maintain social contacts, there are people who play because they have the hope to make a career out of it, there are people who play for everything forgetting them and there are people who play games because they are easy to get hold of for the gambling-like machanics in many modern games.
The scientists say that this ‘easy’ game addiction in the books ensures that all these factors will soon be looked at and probably a lot of misdiagnoses will be made. They now also ask the WHO and the makers of the DSM (the reference manual for practitioners) to clarify how this addiction could be measured and which of the symptoms are the most important. Ultimately such a classification is meant to help people with a problem, and without those handles you have nothing to do with it.
This immediately explains why it seems so slow to deal with the official diagnosis of modern problems with media and technology. With this pace, it could well be that the WHO only recognized the problem of social media addiction by 2025.