World Health Organization officially recognizes video game addiction

World Health Organization officially recognizes video game addiction

Jada Caldwell, Staff Reporter

Over the summer, Video Game Addiction was officially recognized by the World Health Organization. The addiction is defined as a pronounced need to play video games over other desires, and despite negative consequences, the need continues or escalates for over a 12 month period.

Student Assistant Program Coordinator Jodi Deskus shares her view on the WHO’s decision.

“I think that the significant and growing impact of gaming has proven this issue to be relevant and consistent with addictive behavior,” Deskus said. “The condition can include gaming on the internet or on any electronic device, although most people who develop clinically significant gaming problems play primarily on the internet.”

Gamers at our school have their own opinion on video game addiction. Sophomore Joshua Dupree believes it is prevalent in our community.

“I think it’s because kids nowadays are just attracted to screens. I’m kind of guilty of that too, I guess. Yes, I think it can alter grades. It’s altered my grades before like I’ve chosen video games over school work a lot. I think it affects the school greatly,” Dupree said.

Senior Joshua Short has a different opinion.

“Those I know who play video games don’t let it badly affect their academics, and many of our students are committed to athletics or arts or something else of the sort that doesn’t really allow them to let it get out of hand,” Short said.

Video game addiction has been prevalent long before the WHO took notice, so addicts had to look for other ways to receive help. The online forum Game Quitters was created by Cam Adair for the benefit of video game addicts.
A member of the forum, Matt, shares the effect this community has had on him.

“The community has been inspiring and unsurprising. Most people have the same issues as me. Whether they act on their issues the same way or the right way is how we differ,” Matt said. “I also think some members observe things in their lives differently than I do, which helps me learn. It’s communal learning and support.”

Video game addiction has had a negative impact on Matt’s mental and physical health.

“Extreme mood swings from sleep deprivation and malnutrition is the largest. Lack of confidence in myself to try new things and lead an exciting life is another. Depression and anxiety are still issues to this day, but I am recovering,” Matt said.

Matt follows up with how he regards the WHO’s decision. “It’s important for people to know of gaming addiction because of how quickly you can ruin your life. You can play some games and feel like you’re the greatest person in the world,” Matt said. “While doing this, you might be sacrificing your career, friends, family, school, dreams, aspirations in sports and hobbies, sleep and health.” because you’re playing for so long.”