Video game 'addiction' to be classified as mental illness

Updated: Dec. 26, 2017 at 12:59 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Playing video games too much or too often will soon be recognized as a mental health disorder according to the World Health Organization.

It plans to add 'gaming disorder' to the official list of diseases next year.

The WHO says it will classify the disorder to include the inability to control when to play video games, including playing games over other interests in life and playing despite negative consequences.

Parents say it's a hard classification to swallow because gaming should be monitored from a young age.

"Not so sure that I actually agree with that, I think parents have a lot to do with what children do and how they're raised and they can help control and put boundaries on video games," Libby Raipstein, who was shopping for video games with her son, said.

Gamers think playing video games can be akin to other hobbies or even professions.

"It's just passing time, it's the same as playing sports or anything else it doesn't really affect you in any other way," Elias Coy, a gamer, said.

Other gamers think gaming too much should be something they keep an eye on so they can build a healthy relationship with video games.

"Really you just have to take time, like on the [Nintendo] Switch, after a while, after a few minutes I put it down and go charge it, sit down on the bed, think about stuff, and once it's done charging I pick it back up, play for a little longer, so that you're not just stuck on it and you're not just looking at it for all eternity. You can put it down and take a break from it," Adrian Raipstein, a young gamer, said.

While some gamers don't think it's a problem, the classification will mean 'gaming disorder' will be recognized by doctors and insurance companies.

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