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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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40. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 4, 2018, 13:09 jdreyer
 
Jerykk wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 21:37:
Creston wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 13:38:
Why the hate to classifying an actual problem, ESA? People have DIED because they couldn't stop playing WoW / Starcraft etc. Addiction is addiction, whether it's to weed, porn or games.

The ESA doesn't want video games to be viewed in the same light as drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, gambling and porn. All of those things have negative connotations.

That said, I think things that are chemically addictive shouldn't be put in the same category as things that can be harmful to addictive personalities. Games can be addictive to such personality types but there's nothing inherently addictive about games as a medium.

Good points. Agree that chemical addictions should be a separate category. I wonder if the general population will understand that nuance.
 
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39. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 21:37 Jerykk
 
Creston wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 13:38:
Why the hate to classifying an actual problem, ESA? People have DIED because they couldn't stop playing WoW / Starcraft etc. Addiction is addiction, whether it's to weed, porn or games.

The ESA doesn't want video games to be viewed in the same light as drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, gambling and porn. All of those things have negative connotations.

That said, I think things that are chemically addictive shouldn't be put in the same category as things that can be harmful to addictive personalities. Games can be addictive to such personality types but there's nothing inherently addictive about games as a medium.
 
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38. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 21:31 Acragas10
 
Creston wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 13:38:
The World Health Organization knows that common sense and objective research prove video games are not addictive.

That is fucking bullshit. Even if we ignore the skinner box MMOs, and the lootbox crap, a video game is addictive by the very nature of being fun for specific people.

I have an addictive personality, and I have had periods where it's been REALLY hard to do things rather than play video games.

Why the hate to classifying an actual problem, ESA? People have DIED because they couldn't stop playing WoW / Starcraft etc. Addiction is addiction, whether it's to weed, porn or games.

Because if they admit that it's addicting, then they have to offer funding for addiction treatment/diversion like other addictive industries do.

TL:DR, because of money.
 
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37. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 16:04 RedEye9
 
theglaze wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 12:43:
Russel Brands "Recovery: Freedom from our Addictions" is a realist approach to the 12 Steps, full of wit and insight from his experiences, and a book I recommend to anyone who thinks they or someone they love may have an addiction (of any kind).
I'm very familiar with addiction and enjoyed Brands documentary, Russell Brand From Addiction To Recovery.
At the 25 minute mark he discusses his anti-methodone stance with a member of The Royal College of Practitioners who considers methadone the "gold standard" for heroin addiction.
it's a good watch
 
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36. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 15:20 Beamer
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 15:08:
Beamer wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 14:41:
jdreyer wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 14:07:
Jerykk wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 04:48:
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.

Sure, but what's the longest you've done each one without stopping? Games are simply more compelling and compulsive than other media due to their unique attributes. Whether we need an ICD 10 entry for them is a different question, but certainly gamers can exhibit compulsive behavior moreso than other media.

Personally, and I offer this not as proof of anything but a personal answer to a question, I've absolutely done more compulsive reading than video gaming.

When I see on my Kindle that I'm nearly done with a book I often choose to just finish it. Sometimes that final 15% is 3 hours, and it's now 3am and my alarm is set for 7 for work.

That's somewhat always been true, but games are less of an issue than ever for me because I rarely do a session over 30-45 minutes. I may only do a 20 minute break then go back, but I end up feeling satisfied in small bursts.

Fair enough, but I don't think anyone would think that a 3 hour read approaches addiction. Addicted gamers often go 24 or more hours without stopping. Or they pull 100-120 hour gaming weeks, to the exclusion of anything else.

Like I said, wasn't offering it as proof of that, you just asked the possibly rhetorical question of what's the longest someone went of one of those without stopping. And I can say with 100% certainty I've spent a higher percentage of a single day reading than I have gaming. I've read at work in the past (not ignoring work to read, but reading at work.) But never anything I'd say is problematic.
 
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http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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35. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 15:08 jdreyer
 
Beamer wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 14:41:
jdreyer wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 14:07:
Jerykk wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 04:48:
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.

Sure, but what's the longest you've done each one without stopping? Games are simply more compelling and compulsive than other media due to their unique attributes. Whether we need an ICD 10 entry for them is a different question, but certainly gamers can exhibit compulsive behavior moreso than other media.

Personally, and I offer this not as proof of anything but a personal answer to a question, I've absolutely done more compulsive reading than video gaming.

When I see on my Kindle that I'm nearly done with a book I often choose to just finish it. Sometimes that final 15% is 3 hours, and it's now 3am and my alarm is set for 7 for work.

That's somewhat always been true, but games are less of an issue than ever for me because I rarely do a session over 30-45 minutes. I may only do a 20 minute break then go back, but I end up feeling satisfied in small bursts.

Fair enough, but I don't think anyone would think that a 3 hour read approaches addiction. Addicted gamers often go 24 or more hours without stopping. Or they pull 100-120 hour gaming weeks, to the exclusion of anything else.
 
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34. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 14:41 Beamer
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 14:07:
Jerykk wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 04:48:
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.

Sure, but what's the longest you've done each one without stopping? Games are simply more compelling and compulsive than other media due to their unique attributes. Whether we need an ICD 10 entry for them is a different question, but certainly gamers can exhibit compulsive behavior moreso than other media.

Personally, and I offer this not as proof of anything but a personal answer to a question, I've absolutely done more compulsive reading than video gaming.

When I see on my Kindle that I'm nearly done with a book I often choose to just finish it. Sometimes that final 15% is 3 hours, and it's now 3am and my alarm is set for 7 for work.

That's somewhat always been true, but games are less of an issue than ever for me because I rarely do a session over 30-45 minutes. I may only do a 20 minute break then go back, but I end up feeling satisfied in small bursts.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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33. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 14:23 jdreyer
 
Good discussion here. Thanks for the good reads.  
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32. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 14:07 jdreyer
 
Jerykk wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 04:48:
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.

Sure, but what's the longest you've done each one without stopping? Games are simply more compelling and compulsive than other media due to their unique attributes. Whether we need an ICD 10 entry for them is a different question, but certainly gamers can exhibit compulsive behavior moreso than other media.
 
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31. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 13:38 Creston
 
The World Health Organization knows that common sense and objective research prove video games are not addictive.

That is fucking bullshit. Even if we ignore the skinner box MMOs, and the lootbox crap, a video game is addictive by the very nature of being fun for specific people.

I have an addictive personality, and I have had periods where it's been REALLY hard to do things rather than play video games.

Why the hate to classifying an actual problem, ESA? People have DIED because they couldn't stop playing WoW / Starcraft etc. Addiction is addiction, whether it's to weed, porn or games.
 
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30. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 12:43 theglaze
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 09:09:
Moderation in all things.

The difference between whether something -- gaming, working, cleaning, sports, whatever -- is an activity or an addiction is the impact it has on the other parts of a person's life. If you are "obsessed" with the activity to the point it has a detrimental effect on other portions of your life, that's obviously a problem. The fact gaming can rise to that level says nothing about gaming.

Exactly.

Russel Brands "Recovery: Freedom from our Addictions" is a realist approach to the 12 Steps, full of wit and insight from his experiences, and a book I recommend to anyone who thinks they or someone they love may have an addiction (of any kind).
 
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29. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 12:13 Quinn
 
Pigeon wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 10:22:
I understand why people are upset about this, after all being a gamer has been a bit of a stigma for decades, and only recently has it gained more acceptance. I know Iíve gotten more than my fair share of judgmental looks when Iíve told people I like to game. So itís only natural for people to be angry when an organization like the WHO comes along and declares gaming an addiction; it suddenly validates all those judgmental looks. Except thatís not whatís happening. This is merely recognizing that people who game to the point where it is detrimental to their physical, mental, social, and/or fiscal health have a disorder. Are some people going to use this as ammunition for putting down gaming as a hobby? Of course, but haters gonna hate and that should never get in the way of identifying a problem and treating it.

Beamer wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 09:09:
But I'd say that the gaming is symptoms, not causes. Yes, gaming may enable some of that behavior in ways not found previously, but the behavior isn't due to gaming.

It could be argued most process addictions are symptoms of more pervasive mental health issues; most people with chemical addictions also have more pervasive mental health issues. But once the addiction is there you still have to treat it.

Exactly this. Beamer, it seemed like you didn't think that one through.

From a completely personal perspective, I think WHO has a point. I've been struggling with gaming since forever. It is easily prioritized over things that need more priority. This comes from a person who has his life good enough in order, has a few good IRL friends (no e-friends actually), and a wife, and who loves to go out for a beer and such once a week.

Still, gaming is always in the back of my mind. If my wife offers to do X, there's always the question "I could also go play a game.". When I'm at a party and I'm not fully entertained, same question pops up.

Mind you, this was way more on a sickly level when I was younger and it seriously impacted my will to do homework or grow a proper ambition/carreer. Today, I reap what I've been sowing.

During times when I feel ambitious or inspired, I've been often thinking of digging into the gaming addiction more and writing a book about it or whatever. Before any such ideas came into fruition, of course, I started up a game.
 
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28. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 12:02 Darks
 
Beamer wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 09:09:
We've all seen examples of people who prioritize gaming over other things, including personal relationships, work, hygiene, sleep, etc. We've seen the people who have no IRL friends but e-friends. We've seen the people who have died marathon gaming because they stayed up for days on stimulants. We've seen 4chan.

But I'd say that the gaming is symptoms, not causes. Yes, gaming may enable some of that behavior in ways not found previously, but the behavior isn't due to gaming.

Actually, except maybe for the Korean internet cafe CS deaths.

Uh oh Beamer, I guess you had better get checked in.
 
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27. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 11:42 Beamer
 
Pigeon wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 10:22:
I understand why people are upset about this, after all being a gamer has been a bit of a stigma for decades, and only recently has it gained more acceptance. I know Iíve gotten more than my fair share of judgmental looks when Iíve told people I like to game. So itís only natural for people to be angry when an organization like the WHO comes along and declares gaming an addiction; it suddenly validates all those judgmental looks. Except thatís not whatís happening.

In general, I find that when people say something at all critical of games in any way, even if you need to squint hard to see it as such, a very vocal minority of gamers will start screaming about how wrong and dumb it is, often proving the exact criticism in the process.
 
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26. Re: On Sale Jan 3, 2018, 11:34 gilly775
 
MeanJim wrote on Jan 2, 2018, 20:21:
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."

So, what's your take on reports overseas about people playing MOBAs/MMOs non-stop, not taking breaks and separating from their gaming that they die?

I tend to believe that if you start having deaths related to addictions, it needs to be classified as a disorder
 
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25. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 10:22 Pigeon
 
I understand why people are upset about this, after all being a gamer has been a bit of a stigma for decades, and only recently has it gained more acceptance. I know Iíve gotten more than my fair share of judgmental looks when Iíve told people I like to game. So itís only natural for people to be angry when an organization like the WHO comes along and declares gaming an addiction; it suddenly validates all those judgmental looks. Except thatís not whatís happening. This is merely recognizing that people who game to the point where it is detrimental to their physical, mental, social, and/or fiscal health have a disorder. Are some people going to use this as ammunition for putting down gaming as a hobby? Of course, but haters gonna hate and that should never get in the way of identifying a problem and treating it.

Beamer wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 09:09:
But I'd say that the gaming is symptoms, not causes. Yes, gaming may enable some of that behavior in ways not found previously, but the behavior isn't due to gaming.

It could be argued most process addictions are symptoms of more pervasive mental health issues; most people with chemical addictions also have more pervasive mental health issues. But once the addiction is there you still have to treat it.
 
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24. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 09:40 Mr. Tact
 
Oh they say things about gaming, it just rarely makes any sense.  
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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23. Re: Skyrim Creation Club Launches with Survival Mode Jan 3, 2018, 09:36 Kajetan
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Jan 3, 2018, 09:09:
The fact gaming can rise to that level says nothing about gaming.
No one says anything about gaming in general.
 
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22. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 09:09 Mr. Tact
 
Moderation in all things.

The difference between whether something -- gaming, working, cleaning, sports, whatever -- is an activity or an addiction is the impact it has on the other parts of a person's life. If you are "obsessed" with the activity to the point it has a detrimental effect on other portions of your life, that's obviously a problem. The fact gaming can rise to that level says nothing about gaming.
 
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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21. Re: ESA Takes on WHO Over Jan 3, 2018, 09:09 Beamer
 
We've all seen examples of people who prioritize gaming over other things, including personal relationships, work, hygiene, sleep, etc. We've seen the people who have no IRL friends but e-friends. We've seen the people who have died marathon gaming because they stayed up for days on stimulants. We've seen 4chan.

But I'd say that the gaming is symptoms, not causes. Yes, gaming may enable some of that behavior in ways not found previously, but the behavior isn't due to gaming.

Actually, except maybe for the Korean internet cafe CS deaths.
 
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http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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