Plans to classify gaming addicts as basket cases opposed by experts

A short while ago, I reported that gaming addiction could well be classified as a mental disorder if certain misguided folks had their way. Today however, Reuters relays that not only is the American Psychiatric Association sensibly calling for more research to be done before labels are handed out, experts in the field of addiction flat-out oppose the idea.

Dr. Stuart Gitlow from New York’s American Society of Addiction Medicine and Mount Sinai School of Medicine remains highly skeptical of the theory that gaming addiction is damaging enough to warrant psychiatric tagging. “There is nothing here to suggest that this is a complex physiological disease state akin to alcoholism or other substance abuse disorders, and it doesn’t get to have the word addiction attached to it,” Gitlow quite adamantly stated. 

As I said before, while there’s no harm in exploring the idea, it will do little to ultimately tackle the root cause of any mental issue, that is, what’s within someone’s mind to make them addicted to games. Isolating games as something more than a variable catalyst seems like a bit of time wasting in the wrong direction to me. But then, I’m no expert. I’m just pleased that the AMA is motivated by actual research, rather than sensationalistic political hot potatoes.

[Via Slashdot

Jim Sterling