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World Health Organization classifies ‘gaming disorder’ as a mental health disorder




Gaming fans play Super Smash Bros on Nintendo Switch at the 24th Electronic Expo, or E3 2018, in Los Angeles, California on June 13, 2018.
Gaming fans play Super Smash Bros on Nintendo Switch at the 24th Electronic Expo, or E3 2018, in Los Angeles, California on June 13, 2018.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

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Playing hours of video games has now been deemed pathological, at least by the World Health Organization.

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 disorder. In classifying "gaming disorder" as an addiction, WHO hopes to spark funding and studies to better understand a behavior that is becoming all too common.

But some psychologists believe the new designation may be rooted more in alarmism than objective research. They argue that WHO did not base their decision on a wide enough range of academic study, and that the results of current research are still preliminary and have yet to be replicated.

If you are an obsessive gamer, do you feel it’s due to an addiction or to something else?

If you are an obsessive gamer, do you feel it’s due to an addiction or to something else? Have playing too many video games interfered with your daily life at all? Or is it just a hobby you greatly enjoy? Call us at 866-893-5722 and let us know.

With files from the Associated Press.

With guest host Libby Denkmann.  

Guests:

Hilarie Cash, mental health counselor and co-founder of reSTART, an inpatient treatment program for video game addiction in the Seattle area

Michelle Colder Carras, psychiatric epidemiologist and public mental health researcher at Johns Hopkins University; she specializes in normative and problematic use of media and technology