WHO has now classified video games addiction under mental health disorder, which is a diagnosable condition requiring treatment and identifying risks associated with addictive behavior by a mental health professional.
The American Pyschiatric Association and The Society for Media Psychology and Technology both disagrees to the views expressed by World Health Organisation. They think that current reasearches aren’t sufficient to classify gaming addiction as unique mental disorder.
While others welcomed this decision by WHO by saying that it was necessary to identify gaming addicts quickly because in most of the cases they are usually teenagers or kids who don’t seek help by themselves.
So the question is, can someone truly be addicted to video games in much the same way as they do with drugs ?
According to American Journal of Psychiatry (2016), 0.3 to 1 percent of the general population might actually qualify for a potential gaming addiction disorder. There are also cases where gaming addiction can be a symptom for a bigger problem associated with the child. “The likelihood is the problem is bigger than gaming and gaming didn’t cause it.” – Christopher Ferguson
There has been deaths associated with continuous online games streaming. In 2017, a Virginia beach man died in a 24 hours session of the World of Tanks videogame on Twitch. In 2015, a man died in a Sanghai internet cafe after playing World of Warcraft for 19 hours. First man believed to die from online gaming was in South Korea, 2002.
There has been a substantial increase in video games addiction especially in case of kids because of the existence of free and popular games like Fortnite in which literally anyone can try the game for free without having their parents buy it.
A more practical way of looking at this Gaming Addiction problem for parents is to notice whether the child is loosing grades and his hobbies for gaming and staying awake at night because if he’s not then its not an addiction.