Did you hear the news that there is a new disorder? Yes, there is, according to Teri Webster! It will be recognized as a mental health disorder by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2018. It is the gaming disorder or an addiction to playing video games.
According to WHO, in order to qualify for the disorder, a person must have “significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning” from playing video games.
An individual might consider asking some questions, the same ones that a potential alcoholic might ask.
. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your gaming?
. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your gaming?
. Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your gaming?
. Are video games usually the first thing you think about in the morning when you wake up?
Other things to consider in a diagnosis are the amount of time used in playing video games and any mood or behavior changes. Like any other serious addiction, one should seek counseling and behavior modification or visit with a psychologist or mental health professional.
One may ask if video gaming is hazardous to one’s health. Well, people have died from excessive gaming. Here are some of the examples given.
. Brian Vigneault, age 35, played for 22 hours before taking a break and never returned to the game. A detective said he did not respond when found in his home.
. Man, 24-years-old, played for 19 hours before collapsing and dying in an Internet café in Shanghai in 2015.
. Teenager in Taiwan died in 2012 after playing “Diablo 3” for 40 hours.
. Man in South Korea played for 50 hours in 2005 and suffered heart failure.
Admittedly, death is a rare occurrence for gamers, but there are other problems caused by spending too much time playing video games, problems in employment, family relationships, etc. However, there are also benefits from playing video games.
For example, playing 3-D video games can boost memory. And a Canadian study found that playing Super Mario or other three-dimensional video games may help in preventing dementia. Also, video games can “improve hand-eye coordination and reaction time.”
My son who is an emergency room doctor swears that his experiences with video games helped him in medical school. I remembered his comments when a daughter-in-law shared her recent experience with surgery. She said that her major abdominal surgery was performed by a robot. The robot was controlled by two doctors – one standing right next to the operating table to watch what was happening and one seated a few feet away to control the robot.
So, Miss M, it may be good for you to play video games with your brothers and cousins. You may be able to increase your memory, “improve hand-eye coordination and reaction time,” and avoid dementia by playing some video games. However, you must remember to limit your playing time. If you are wise, playing video games can be a good thing.