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ESA Takes on WHO Over "Gaming Disorder"

GamesIndustry has a response from the Entertainment Software Association to reports that the World Health Organization is considering classifying videogame addiction as a recognized issue called "gaming disorder." They have not made such a diagnosis official, but they have a response from the Entertainment Software Association asking the WHO just who do they think they are suggesting such a thing. Here's word from the ESA, a gaming trade organization that probably doesn't qualify as impartial:

"Just like avid sports fans and consumers of all forms of engaging entertainment, gamers are passionate and dedicated with their time. Having captivated gamers for more than four decades, more than 2 billion people around the world enjoy video games. The World Health Organization knows that common sense and objective research prove video games are not addictive. And, putting that official label on them recklessly trivializes real mental health issues like depression and social anxiety disorder, which deserve treatment and the full attention of the medical community. We strongly encourage the WHO to reverse direction on its proposed action."

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20. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 09:03 Acragas10
 
VaranDragon wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 05:30:
Imagine having an awesome job, like being a fighter pilot, or an astronaut. Id wake up to a job like that every day with a smile on my face. Would you consider that job an addiction? Just because it brings you pleasure and a certain dose of adrenaline? Even a regular day job that can be very exciting and fun for a lot of people. Like everyone who loves their job!

Games bring people joy. So does good food. Or a decent job. We need to find a better definition for these classifications.

I mean if you make money, while gaming. Is it still an addiction or an awesome job?

If you loved your job so much that you never went home, spent 24 hours at your workplace and stopped doing everything else you used to enjoy and stopped coming into contact with people you used to love, then no, that doesn't sound particularly healthy.

Likewise, they're not talking about the people who spend a few hours each day playing a game because they enjoy it. The addicts are the people who can't stop playing, who lose their jobs because they won't quit playing even to get up to go to work. Or who literally collapse in a cafe because they won't get up to get a drink of water or go to the restroom.
 
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19. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 06:43 Luke
 
And what's the name of the disease where zombies are running around looking at the "world" through there mobil phone's....

If the first thing ye think about when you wake is playing...well
 
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18. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 05:30 VaranDragon
 
Imagine having an awesome job, like being a fighter pilot, or an astronaut. Id wake up to a job like that every day with a smile on my face. Would you consider that job an addiction? Just because it brings you pleasure and a certain dose of adrenaline? Even a regular day job that can be very exciting and fun for a lot of people. Like everyone who loves their job!

Games bring people joy. So does good food. Or a decent job. We need to find a better definition for these classifications.

I mean if you make money, while gaming. Is it still an addiction or an awesome job?
 
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17. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 05:17 saluk
 
I think the WHO is showing just how out of touch with modern society they are...

...by waiting until 2017 before making this assessment.


How else do you explain flappy bird mania or people walking off cliffs to catch pokemon or dying because someone forgot to eat and played a game for 40 hours straight?
 
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16. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 04:48 Jerykk
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 02:37:
Games, more than other media, are simply more addictive. Part of the problem is the continuous presenting of problems, then rewarding the player for solving them. This creates a chain of problem-reward-problem-reward that spurns the player onward and never ends. The "just one more turn/game" phenomena doesn't exist in other media. We've all pulled all-nighters playing games. Have you stayed up all night to read a book? Watch a show? Listen to music?

Those might be some of the worst comparisons I've seen. There are plenty of occasions where people feel compelled to read one more chapter of a book or watch one more episode of a show. If something is compelling, people will want to continue experiencing it even when they know they should probably be doing something else. This is not a phenomenon unique to games.
 
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15. Re: Skyrim Creation Club Launches with Survival Mode Jan 3, 2018, 04:00 Kajetan
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 02:37:
Have you stayed up all night to read a book? Watch a show? Listen to music?
Yes, yes and yes.
 
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14. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 02:37 jdreyer
 
Games, more than other media, are simply more addictive. Part of the problem is the continuous presenting of problems, then rewarding the player for solving them. This creates a chain of problem-reward-problem-reward that spurns the player onward and never ends. The "just one more turn/game" phenomena doesn't exist in other media. We've all pulled all-nighters playing games. Have you stayed up all night to read a book? Watch a show? Listen to music?  
Avatar 22024
 
If Star Citizen was a child conceived in a night of passion, it would have started elementary school by now. -panbient
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13. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 02:09 Asmodai
 
Rossafur wrote on Jan 2, 2018, 22:49:
I'm sure gambling addicts make the same argument...
Like anything that provokes serotonin release, gaming absolutely can be addictive. The gaming industry knows that, that's why they've been hiring people with backgrounds in I/O psychology for years (and why the ESA would be fighting this, just like the tobacco industry fought declaring tobacco addictive). I sure have realized more and more often while playing games, "Wait a minute... What I'm doing here isn't actually even FUN, -why do I feel so compelled to keep playing??"

Figuring out how best to trigger compulsion has been what MMO's have always relied heavily on, and then they realized that if they threw in micro-transactions to speed up/bypass the parts where people might start to realize they were not actually having fun, they could ensure people continued to play longer and keep giving them more money.

I love how a person can say something straight up and yet ignore the implications (or the explicit information within) of what they've just said.

Human addictions are, at their root, an effort to avoid something else by getting a blast of happy chemicals. You can invoke the tobacco industry, but the decline of smoking due to various pressures proves that smoking addiction is not insurmountable. Like a satisfying wank after a shitty day, you feel better because you've dosed yourself with a homemade drug that is designed to make you feel better (and incidentally creates a positive feedback loop, an evolutionary thing to convince us to do things by giving us a jolt of our own extremely addictive body chemicals as a reward).

The problem is not the habit, it's the user. As you noted, you pull the plug when you're not having fun. Games mustn't be very effective then, right? Or are you just so mentally strong and everyone else needs a nice sheet of bubble wrap for their psyche?

I've often played bad games long past their use by date because they were co-op and the act of playing with friends was a hell of a lot of fun (often way more fun than the game in question). Is friendship and having fun with people we like addictive? Should we distance ourselves in case friendship is habit forming? \= |

This is pop psychology 101. Like saying violent games caused Columbine, it ignores things like underlying pathologies and instead blames the method the addict uses to cope with their life.
 
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12. Re: Skyrim Creation Club Launches with Survival Mode Jan 3, 2018, 01:26 Kajetan
 
The WHO talks about gaming addiction, not gaming in general.  
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11. ESA Jan 3, 2018, 00:01 Kxmode
 
Life is a disorder. Will the ESA take on that?  
Avatar 18786
 
William Shakespeare's "Star Wars" Act I, Scene 4: CHORUS: And now, dear viewers, shall our play go to \ A Planet stark and drear for our next scene. \ Imagine sand and rocks within thy view. \ Prepare thy souls - we fly to Tatooine!
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10. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 2, 2018, 23:56 NKD
 
theglaze wrote on Jan 2, 2018, 22:39:

And that can be addictive to the player, and exploited by the developer.

I dunno man. Consequences are a little thin on this one, and the shame or guilt is generally absent as well. The majority of gamers also aren't bankrupting themselves and stealing from others to pay for their game habit. The addiction cycle is almost always characterized by a need for more and more of the activity/substance in order to achieve a high, at the cost of their livelihood.

If we're calling spending a lot of time playing games addiction, then the same could be said for literally any pleasurable activity. We are compelled to seek some degree of pleasure, even if it's just enough to keep us from hanging ourselves from a tree.

While there are certain games that are essentially structured as gambling and designed to milk large amounts of money from people, those are in the minority, and gambling addiction is already very well understood.

 
Avatar 43041
 
You mechs may have copper wiring to reroute your fear of pain, but I've got nerves of steel.
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9. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 2, 2018, 23:15 Mr. Tact
 
Cutter, that may be the best post you've ever made on this site.  
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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8. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 2, 2018, 22:49 Rossafur
 
MeanJim wrote on Jan 2, 2018, 20:21:
Video games are a fucking hobby. At least with video games, there is some activity and interaction going on, unlike TV, movies and books where you just sit and consume the entertainment through your face holes. If I don't play video games in my free time, I would do something else to fill that time. They might as well call it "free time entertainment disorder."

I'm sure gambling addicts make the same argument...
Like anything that provokes serotonin release, gaming absolutely can be addictive. The gaming industry knows that, that's why they've been hiring people with backgrounds in I/O psychology for years (and why the ESA would be fighting this, just like the tobacco industry fought declaring tobacco addictive). I sure have realized more and more often while playing games, "Wait a minute... What I'm doing here isn't actually even FUN, -why do I feel so compelled to keep playing??"

Figuring out how best to trigger compulsion has been what MMO's have always relied heavily on, and then they realized that if they threw in micro-transactions to speed up/bypass the parts where people might start to realize they were not actually having fun, they could ensure people continued to play longer and keep giving them more money.
 
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7. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 2, 2018, 22:39 theglaze
 
Addiction is a cycle, clinically defined as:

1. Pain
2. Addictive agent to soothe and distract
3. Temporary anesthesia or distraction
4. Consequences
5. Shame and guilt, leading to pain or low-self esteem
6. Repeat

All games, by definition, distract.

But video games are more specifically scripted, a tailored experience to reward the player for putting in time whilst they ignore the actual problems or pain in their life.

They offer the player an escape from reality.

Through loot drops, unlocks, level gains, and achievements the player can further justify his/her time spent in a digital world. That scheme is designed by the developer to encourage more time/money invested into said world.

And that can be addictive to the player, and exploited by the developer.
 
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6. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 2, 2018, 21:46 Pr()ZaC
 
To complement Cutter's comment...

WHO are you?
WHO, WHO, WHO, WHO?
 
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5. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 2, 2018, 20:58 Muscular Beaver
 
Comet wrote on Jan 2, 2018, 19:45:
I completely agree with the WHO assessment.
Games are addictive and we all know that.

If they weren't people wouldn't invest so much time playing them almost on a daily basis.
With that said, as pointed out by NKD, TV disorder should be included as well.

There is a question that needs to be posed.
If everyone on the planet is addicted to something, do we still consider it an addiction?

The way I see it any form of entertainment can provoke a disorder.
It's not about video games.

It's TV disorder, it's Internet addiction.Social network addiction, sugar addiction.

Is it OK for people to watch reality TV all day?

Instead of labeling game, TV disorder or something just use a single term such as "entertainment disorder" that encompasses them all because the results and the symptoms are precisely the same.

Everything can be addictive. It just depends on the person. Some drink alcohol, some smoke, some do drugs, some play video games all day long, some drive cars all day long, some are addicted to sex, some to food, etc, etc.
These organizations need to learn that the problem behind the addiction is the real issue. We know that since the Vietnam war, that showed that addicted persons would almost instantly stop using drugs, once the psychological issues were solved.
 
Avatar 12928
 
Waiting for BIS to come back to their senses and do a real ArmA 2 successor.
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4. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 2, 2018, 20:21 MeanJim
 
Comet wrote on Jan 2, 2018, 19:45:
I completely agree with the WHO assessment.
Games are addictive and we all know that.

If they weren't people wouldn't invest so much time playing them almost on a daily basis.
With that said, as pointed out by NKD, TV disorder should be included as well.

Video games are a fucking hobby. At least with video games, there is some activity and interaction going on, unlike TV, movies and books where you just sit and consume the entertainment through your face holes. If I don't play video games in my free time, I would do something else to fill that time. They might as well call it "free time entertainment disorder."
 
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MeanJim on Steam
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3. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 2, 2018, 19:45 Comet
 
I completely agree with the WHO assessment.
Games are addictive and we all know that.

If they weren't people wouldn't invest so much time playing them almost on a daily basis.
With that said, as pointed out by NKD, TV disorder should be included as well.

There is a question that needs to be posed.
If everyone on the planet is addicted to something, do we still consider it an addiction?

The way I see it any form of entertainment can provoke a disorder.
It's not about video games.

It's TV disorder, it's Internet addiction.Social network addiction, sugar addiction.

Is it OK for people to watch reality TV all day?

Instead of labeling game, TV disorder or something just use a single term such as "entertainment disorder" that encompasses them all because the results and the symptoms are precisely the same.

 
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2. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 2, 2018, 19:36 Cutter
 
I woke up in a Soho doorway
A policeman knew my name
He said you can go sleep at home tonight
If you can get up and walk away

 
Avatar 25394
 
"They call me a chauvinist pig. I am . . . and I don't give a damn!" - Steve McQueen
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1. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 2, 2018, 19:22 NKD
 
What about television disorder for all the couch whales who sit there eating bon bons and watching soaps and reality TV all day?  
Avatar 43041
 
You mechs may have copper wiring to reroute your fear of pain, but I've got nerves of steel.
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40 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 2.
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