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Is internet and gaming addiction a disorder?

Only 14 years ago, the Internet was a phenomenon. Today, doctors want to call internet addiction a mental health disorder. The American Medical Association is preparing to recognize ‘Internet/video game addiction’ as a ‘formal diagnostic disorder’ as reported by Spong News.

This move would have wide ranging implications within the law as the ever-growing list of lawyers attempting to blame ‘sick video games’ for crimes ranging from street robbery to mass murder, call on a medically-recognized disorder to bolster their defense. It will also inevitably lead to pharmaceutical companies coming out with a range of high-priced and pointless cures that can be dumped inside people. The proposal comes in the form of a ‘Report Of The Council On Science And Public Health: Emotional and Behavioral Effects, Including Addictive Potential, of Video Games” chaired by Mohamed K. Khan, MD, Phd.

The report mentions the definition of a gamer:

“A gamer is a term used to describe a person who plays games. Historically, a gamer was someone who played role-playing games or war games, but more recently the term has come to include computer and video game players. Although the term technically includes those who do not necessarily consider themselves gamers (ie, casual gamers), it is a commonly used colloquial term to identify persons who spend as much of their leisure time as possible playing or reading about games. Video gaming has traditionally been a social experience, and most video games are playable by more than one person. Multi-player video games can be played either competitively or cooperatively online by using multiple input devices, or by “Ĺ“hotseating.”

Now, I’m no doctor but I don’t get why internet addiction could be in the same criteria as gaming? I thought for some people, internet is a way of life — like online shopping, internet banking, etc.

So, anybody here qualifies as a gaming addict? You might want to check with your insurance company for some added coverage on mental health benefits.

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  • Oooh… I think I am both an internet addict and a “gamer.” However, I don’t think that the two should be lumped together in one category.

  • I would heartily say that I am a gamer and that I am not sick, addicted or anything.

    But then again, I would.

    Seriously though, I think this attempt to equate gaming, internet use, and addiction to be just like what they must have said back in the good old days when writing was a new thing:

    “No! No! Don’t write it down! Your memory will start getting weaker and weaker! Use your head, not that newfangled alphabet thing!”

    The online things – including games, online shopping, general internet use, and blogging – are simply part of a new technologically-driven lifestyle. They’re not really a sickness, addiction or disease per se.

    Also I’m with Ria on this one:

    “I don’t think that [gaming and internet use] should be lumped together in one category.”

  • glowinthedark

    i agree with ria jose…

  • althea

    hold there for a second!! being a gamer and an internet addict shouldn’t fall in one category.To tell you frankly i fall in both.But luckily i’ve managed to lessen my gaming side and productively use my internet addiction.But I’m not sick or something.It depends on the person actually. I remember a very hot news from one of the MMORPG i’ve played 3 years ago.The game was originally from Korea,and the news said that a young boy died because of his non-stop gaming from dawn to dusk for i don’t know how many days without standing from his seat! (now that’s what you call “hot seat”) Mind you, this boy ranges from 14-16yrs old! What i mean from this is,gaming or internet usage is not an addiction.There should be a sense of responsibility on how you would use your time when your fond of the internet or online gaming.Well i don’t know if those doctors knows about this.Heck, if those guys would still see this things as addiction or a sort of sickness,i wouldn’t be surprised if they would have a rehab center for it sooner or later!

  • I am an absolute internet addict, and get withdrawal symptoms when it’s not working properly! Lol! 🙂 But I don’t do gaming. At all 🙂

  • hello new here at techblog…

    it really depends on the person… i’m both internet and game addict…

  • JCv

    An addiction is a compulsive behavior that impairs your life in one way or another. I’ve seen this happen to myself and to people I care about and it is very painful to watch.

    I’ve seen parents who play games more often than they spend time with their kids. There’s also this vlog in YouTube where a YouTube addict’s preteen son complains that his father is so addicted to YouTube that he never spends time with them anymore.

    So yes, in that sense, gaming and internet addiction can be considered valid addictions. If you rely on the internet to replace some of your real life routines like maybe reading news online instead of on a newspaper or watching online videos instead of TV, then I guess that’s fine. However, when it steps into other parts of your life like love or family, then it can definitely be unhealthy and should be stopped.

  • i don’t know what the word ‘disorder’ means in the medical world. so i can’t say that they made internet and gaming addiction disorder. but to put them under one category is not good. they don’t even know what ‘internet’ means.

    lesson: wag magdunung-dunungan.

  • It may be an addiction but it doesn’t follow that it is a disorder. How about those people who loves to play their favorite sport and got addicted to it? Does it count a disorder also?

    Well, of course it’s just my opinion though…

  • bods

    two years ago i was into online game. I was totally addicted in it which it came to a point that my health was sacrificed. I had eating disorders and eventually lost at least 30 pounds in a span of 5 months.

  • Everybody knows their limit, if they doesn’t know it will become disorder..

  • Nasa tao yan… Hindi disorder ang pagiging gamer. Meron lang siyang artistic side at creativity kaya masaya siyang naglalaro nang games.

  • Enoch

    as i read the comments only one question comes to mind “if you are an addict would you admit it?”
    Nobody in his right mind will admit that he murdered someone and rot in jail. we are going to look for scape goat to be acquitted. Won’t you?

  • L

    Mga bata kami, naglalaro kami para sa entertainment namin bakit kayo pagineentertain ninyo sarili ninyo binabawal namin kayo?hindi di ba kasi choice namin yon kanya wag na kayong makyelam pwede??

    kabuysit kayong mga mapapakyelam!!!

  • L

    And besides what i said before this is that we can make friends through online gaming and if you ADULTS don’t want us to play so do you isn’t it. ADULTS!prevent children from playing because they compare OUR generation to their generation and they also prevent us because they CAN’T play those games and their just jealous!nyahahahahaha

  • Angelo

    I admit I’m addicted on using this PC of mine, pero di naman nakakahiya XD *facepalm* Besides what’s wrong naman sa paglalaro <_< What’s next, Fun is a crime now? D:

  • Dan

    I think it is just a bad habit, not a disorder! wasting time in playing games all day long? round the clock is sick! But the reason is being a gamer requires game addiction to be more better player! it’s the players determination to play round the clock to be able to be like a pro gamer! hehe’ this is it, that’s all… not a disorder!