US doctors shelve game-addiction resolution

Following contentious debate, medical body calls for further study of compulsive gaming habits; issue to be reconsidered in 2012.

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Last week, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced it was considering classifying chronic game playing as an addiction on par with alcoholism. Specifically, the proposal would have listed "video game addiction" in the self-explanatory American Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, which the American Psychiatric Association (APA) uses to officially diagnose mental illness.

The APA's debate resulted in a firestorm in the mainstream press, fueled in part by the high-profile Adults Only-rating of Manhunt 2 and the Resistance/Church of England kerfuffle. On Sunday, though, addiction experts at the APA meeting declined to endorse any measure equating games to drug use or problem gambling.

"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 have to have the word addiction attached to it," Dr. Stuart Gitlow, of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, told the Reuters news service.

But just because game playing wasn't certified as a mental disorder doesn't mean the issue has been laid to rest. The APA will reconsider the issue when it revises its manual in 2012.

Discussion

216 comments
Lash540
Lash540

@ Philip29102 - Yes your right video game addiction is very real , however I think its wrong to punish the world because a few can't control themselves. I have no problem with picking up a game like WoW playing it and then dropping it in a heartbeat. However I have seen others that picked up the game and developed other disorders, like they would forget to eat and they would develop insomnia cause the game would make their bodies constantly produce adrenaline while they played and when they stopped it took hours for them to fall asleep and they would wake up and have trouble going to school or work. Its to me not the games fault but the person who plays, its the same as drugs I have seen people who do hard drug like Cocaine and can stop and get off of it but there are others who just cant stop and it has something to do with the way their brain works, addiction is just being discovered as a disease and there are trial medications being made to help people with this problem keep themselves under control. Again though I think its wrong for anyone to try and outlaw games or anything of that sort because again its the persons fault by genetics not the game that causes the addiction, do you understand what I'm saying?

okassar
okassar

LLLLOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLZZZZZZZZ chronic gaming as a mental disorder lmao.

philip29102
philip29102

The trouble isn't that video games are addictive for everyone, however there are people that have a very real cumpulsion to play games. I'm currently writing a psych paper on this subject and trust me when I say video game addiction is very real. Talk to any former WOW player and they'll agree.

gangsterjc
gangsterjc

hmm maube i shud do crack then ROFL

kreestoph
kreestoph

its so dumb how its just in the media and portraied as this because videogames are relatively new to some people. they still think that kids are playing that space invaders for 16 hours. without realizing people are actually being incredibly social when they game. and developing critical skills. . its these soccer moms who bug me, who would think were all better off playing the sims, buying shiney things and listening to giberish. . games are a HOBBY, you can call any hobby and addiction if someone likes doing it. when i play a game im relaxing. not endulging in an addictive substance. period.

liversnot
liversnot

hey i have an idea, instead of doing all kinds of tests and research(taht cost money) why not just leave games alone, and put that funding twords something relevent, AIDS or cancer or something, gamers already have to deal with enough crap from the media and other places, so go put the money for this bogus theory to some good use, give it to saint jude.

Scarletred
Scarletred

What classifies you as a game addict?

especensor
especensor

you can be addicted to anything. who cares.

whitey3221
whitey3221

Hooray...You know it's pathetic that they have never tried/thought to see how addiction relates to sports. I mean seriously, almost all professional athletes are addicted to whatever sport they are pro in. The thing is nobody cares because they like watching they're football on sunday and just ignore the fact that the more somebody is addicted to something the better they get at it. If everyone were addicted to some kind of work we would have the greatest society of all time because we would have people doing the jobs that they are best at.

willripyouanew1
willripyouanew1

I am not addicted, on the other hand they say denial is the first symptom,...... who cares.

Seven_Is_Darker
Seven_Is_Darker

I guess im an Addict. I love painting, listening to music. I guess those should be thrown into the addiction category as well. Leave it to the people who don't play games to make laws/regulations/speculations on them. Pfh, I cannot believe this.

Phatjam98
Phatjam98

Its all the same. Some people like to drink, others like drugs, some like to workout. Does that mean that you can be addicted to lifting weights? This whole addiction thing is stupid. Just because someone dosn't have self controll dosn't mean they have some disease.

Unassigned
Unassigned

Put a title on it and people will nolonger feel guilty. Jeez, get over this whole "addiction" mentality .

General_Gustaf
General_Gustaf

However, some people use Alcohol and Drugs to escape too.

dbeddow
dbeddow

I would say people use video games as an escape, like reading a book, or watching tv. Not like abusing drugs and alchohol... this is stupid to put in the same league as a mental illness.

Seraphim_24
Seraphim_24

I know people who are addicted. My father-in-law let his whole life and family disintigrate to play Final Fantasy XI. That said 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% know where the hell the off switch is and how to use it, Should we all be punished for the actions of a few?

StraeDog
StraeDog

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mooseman721
mooseman721

Is television classed as a compulsive/addictive disorder? Plenty of people watch many hours more of television, why not the same consideration?

interpolred
interpolred

Video games cannot be compared to drugs and alcohol. That's just an ignorant idea.

p59
p59

HA! this is hilarious! I agreed with like twenty people down there and disagreed with twenty too! wtf?! This does not even need to be a debate! Are u kidding me? why should video games be like drugs?! THAT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE!!!!!! For those of u that already hav said this, u r sane. But to those who agreed with this article, u need to think! For a small number of people, video gaming is an obsession, and an unhealthy habbit, but more like the habit of walking alone on the playground or working too hard! U should stop, but its not a mental illness!

Alucard7321
Alucard7321

I OD'd once playing computer games. Best experience evaaaarrrrrrrr!(!)

WarriorWithin52
WarriorWithin52

AHAHHA soon there will be a rehab for video games if so ill be the next Lindsay Lohan!

Slimm457
Slimm457

by 2012 the games'll look so good they might just be addictive, Grand Theft Auto 6 anybody?!!?!?!!?!?

greenshark31489
greenshark31489

Of course if it is found as an addiction in 2012 then all crimes "linked" to video game uses have a mitigating circumstance that warrants a lessar sentence. It will be interesting to see what happens if it is.

BeeCranston
BeeCranston

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

dudy80
dudy80

Lol at this.... Im starting to hate America.... We haven't been free for 60 years and we will never be free again. Out government is corrupt and stupid.

prioritymail
prioritymail

It may very well be an issue then. Games will be so good, we might not be able to tear ourselves away...

BigDaveyDogz
BigDaveyDogz

"PiNwOrM Gambling is a game, if that can be considered an addiction, then there's no reason games shouldn't be." Are you serious?! If I play blackjack for 8 hours I could lose thousands of dollars. If I play Gears of War for 8 hours I would just lose sleep.

xcollector
xcollector

Maybe in 2012 there will be smarter US doctors looking back and laughing at the archaic 2007 doctors.

JonPee
JonPee

How does anger all of a sudden = withdrawal? How about when someone's favorite football team loses a big game? People get angry then and yell and get into fights. I guess sports are an addiction. I get mad when someone cuts me off, driving is an addiction. When I have to stay and work overtime? Yep, that frustrates me. It must be a withdrawal symptom and I must be a workaholic.

ktseymour
ktseymour

and what's the addiction called that doctor's have that make them want to classify everything?

PiNwOrM
PiNwOrM

Gambling is a game, if that can be considered an addiction, then there's no reason games shouldn't be.

dbeddow
dbeddow

Saluu, expressing anger on something is not proof of addiction. Some people got to myspace.com almost religiously or even the internet all the time, but lets not talk about that stuff, because its not something they are ready to talk about. Video games are the "here and now" thats the only reason this is getting looked at. Oh, and their old people with nothing better to do who dont understand... This is stupid, its a hobby, nothing more. Some enjoy it more than others.

Saluu
Saluu

..theres no need to get a fix?! when a new game is announced and you check on it daily/weekly that is addicted. yes the same can be said with a LOT of other things but thats not whats being talked about. ps3's nintendo wii's.. you think this isnt a 'fix' certain ppl need? and no withdrawls...how about anger ('what!? ps3 is going for $600!') and frustration ('what!? no more wii's?! no price drop yet, what?! whaaat!) theres two. some even rage and rob ppl. i think there is some truth to it all but how can you break it down? whats ridiculous is if you think theres nothing wrong in any of this and its america this an that im sure there'll be many who say, 'i can...without..' thats why gamespot is our favorite place =). like, ppl who read high times arent addicted, some arent... many are.

MarioBros12321
MarioBros12321

thats why they have parental settings on the consoles now! now i get it...

MattGPA78
MattGPA78

To parents who don't want their kids playing video games (violent or otherwise) for hours and hours on end every day, I've got a crazy idea: Take the games away from them and don't let them play!!! The problem we see here is lazy parents who want the government and the medical establishment to do their job for them; namely, to monitor and control what their kids do.

birdmandaddi
birdmandaddi

so in other way yall saying that we pay $60 + tax and we kind of smuggle it into our houses and play the video games it is kind of like we are taking drugs. well u know what --l-- --l-- we have a right as an american to do what we want without harming anyone else who are we hurtin you? no!!

Aaron19Z7
Aaron19Z7

In my opinion, It's no different than chess players being addicted to chess. And people who are obsessed with television. So what makes video games more dangerous than TV or chess?

sieg6529
sieg6529

I do believe that certain individuals can become addicted to video games, but I don't think it should be given a medical classification. The type of people who get addicted to video games, from my limited observations, are the OCD types who would just find something else if video games weren't available.

shyshyshy
shyshyshy

I don't get it. Why do people consider something to be addicting when its clearly a very lucrative and thriving industry. I am not an alcoholic, not a drug-user nor a smoker. Yet it really annoys me when I encounter something like this in the news. Liquor, despite its negative drawbacks in societal behavior, has its large share of income in the market. That goes with smoking and drugs. And again, I would like to emphasize that I am not condoning to alcoholism, smoking and drug-using. Let's just put "addiction" and "disorder" with these vices and not with video games, shall we? How annoying! And one more thing, I think doctors are just blowing things out of proportion because they'd want a piece of the action. Obviously, the gaming industry is in the lead. The more psychoses and illnesses there'd be in medical manuals, the more money they'd get from patients who would be willing to submit themselves to these symptoms and diagnoses. Think about adding more cows for harvesting milk! And for the second time--HOW ANNOYING!

OMTGZ
OMTGZ

Just because you play games heavily does not make you addicted. There is no physical dependence created by playing games... no need to 'get a fix.' The only "cases" of "gaming addiction" are people with other disorders who would have problems with anything, not just games. The difference between reality and this faux addiction is one's personality. I see the world as a piece of **** so who would want to bother doing something that would suck and be boring? I would rather spend the short time we live actually doing something enjoyable, a la gaming. It's a want, not a need. Addiction is a need.

DarkCreator0
DarkCreator0

Are these guys just looking at cases in the US? Haven't they heard about the numerous instances over in Asia where kids have died in internet lounges and in their homes b/c they were playing FF online or some other MMO?

BlueEyesGR
BlueEyesGR

I wonder if this "American Diagnostic And Statistic Manual Of Mental Disorders" (!!!) has any references to people that are addicted to stupidity... Because I know many "experts" that belong to this category.

BlueEyesGR
BlueEyesGR

I wonder if this "American Diagnostic And Statistic Manual Of Mental Disorders" (!!!) has any references to people that are addicted to stupidity... Because I know many "experts" that belong to this category.

ShipwreckX
ShipwreckX

Just remember most every thing you do is by choice.