The World Health Organization’s Gaming Disorder Is Not As Bad As It Seems

Photo by Owen Megura

Video games have been and still are an increasing influence in the lives of many, and is continuing to take its toll on modern audiences as a popular and worldwide sensation. So much so, that a recent study concludes that playing an excess amount of video games over a period of time could result in “gaming disorder”.

According to National Public Radio, on May 25, 2019, the World Health Organization announced that an excess of video game recreation can result in gaming disorder. However, just because someone plays video games on a regular basis doesn’t mean that they are prone to the proposed disease. The disease is only diagnosed when the number of hours spent playing video games conflicts with the person’s behavior.

Some examples that can hint towards possible diagnosis may include playing video games as a priority. If someone makes video games a priority, it will inflict changes to that person’s relationships, deprioritize other responsibilities such as work and school, and finally interrupt the person’s sleeping habits. Another thing to keep in mind is that if these problems occur, they aren’t technically classified as a disease until these habits take place for about a year.

As reported by the World Health Organization, gaming disorder is included within the International Classification of Diseases Eleventh Revision, and, as proven by various studies, only affects a small number of people who play video games. The World Health Organization, however, warns those who aren’t affected to still be aware of how many hours people play as it can still spawn a bad pattern of behavior.

According to Vittana, a personal finance blog, video games has its benefits to audiences who play them in moderation. By playing video games, a player’s vision may improve and allow the player to easily differentiate similar colors by their shades and also help people who are affected by a lazy eye. Playing video games also slow the aging process in a person’s brain, and also improves the ability to make decisions.

Video games also allow the target audience to indulge in a wide range of activities, which can encourage players to find what they are interested in. In some cases, games that are based around sports, while not helping the player physically, can still encourage them to practice and exercise. Other games such as those based around history, can spark a person’s interest in historical events and architectural study.

ADHD Coach Jordy Travis insists that video games themselves are not a bad hobby, but notes that an excessive number of playing hours are something not to look forward to. “Balance is the key to life. There is nothing wrong with playing video games as long as it doesn’t interfere with your goals, your aspirations, and your life,” Travis stated.

Travis reinstates her belief about video games by incorporating her experience as an ADHD Coach. “If a person has ADHD, their brain tires out after a long day of work, and in turn, video games can be a way to give that person’s brain a rest before tackling responsibilities,” Travis explains.

When looking at the many hobbies people do on a regular day-to-day basis, it is important to reemphasize how video games themselves aren’t the problem, but it’s the people themselves that prioritize video games over daily necessities and responsibilities. While video games provide benefits to many people, it is still important for people to not spend too much time immersing themselves in their hobbies.

Owen Megura is an upcoming senior high school student who aspires to be a journalist. He plans on majoring in Journalism and minoring in Photography in order to become a travelling photo journalist in the future. Owen’s hobbies include watching television, movies, spending time with friends and family, and playing an assortment of video games.

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