Hamilton East Public Library logo

My Account

Hours & Location

Get A Library Card

July 16, 2018

Is Gaming Disorder for Real?

Is Gaming Disorder for Real? Exploring the Question with Opposing Viewpoints and Health & Wellness Resource Center

By: Pam Lamberger

Do you have video-gamers in your family? Most do – it’s an enjoyable pastime for children and adults alike. With the Internet available in almost every home, school, and library, gaming can even be shared remotely, allowing players to team-up or compete with distant family and friends or random fellow gamers. But like most activities, too much of a good thing can have undesirable consequences.

The World Health Organization has recently added the condition “Gaming Disorder” to its update of their International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The W.H.O.’s definition of gaming disorder: A pattern of gaming behavior characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. With this formalization comes the potential for insurance to pay for treatment, but there is no agreement on what treatment may be effective. Not surprisingly, this move has stirred controversy among interested groups: professional societies, those in the gaming industry, insurance carriers, parents, and gamers themselves.

A U.S chronicler of psychiatric conditions and diseases published by the American Psychiatric Association in 2013 is the DSM-5, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th-edition. It has labeled “Internet Gaming Disorder” as a condition for further study before consideration can be given to upgrading it to a full-fledged disorder. When does a bad habit become an illness?

In my day, gamers went to the corner arcade and plugged quarters into a flashing machine to get their gaming fix. This was a full-body experience, involving not just the thumbs – a hip-check to the machine was common! While gaming in the 60s and 70s was popular, the ubiquitous nature of modern gaming is much more pervasive – even invasive. Therein lies the danger; ready availability, the realistic appearance of today’s games and the thrill of competition can entice a player to spend increasing time on gaming to the exclusion of his or her own life.
Also, with many popular games focusing on violent exchanges, critics voice concern about the danger of desensitizing young minds to violence. Could this normalization of murder and mayhem on-screen make a player lose touch with the reality of pain, injury, and even death?

The library offers databases containing a plethora of information to help you sort out complex or controversial topics. A variety of viewpoints are provided from trustworthy sources. Your tax dollars support access to this valuable information so why not use it?

Two good options for this topic are Opposing Viewpoints and Health and Wellness Resource Center. To locate these gems, visit our homepage, select “Resources” then drop down to “Online Databases” then select “Access All Databases A-Z” for an alphabetical listing of all the databases. From here you can read a description of the each database and select the one that best fits your topic. Type in your search terms and see what comes up. Opposing Viewpoints displays news articles from publications such as Mental Health Weekly Digest and the New York Times. Health & Wellness Resource Center reveals 115 items under the heading of News and 117 items from Academic Journals. When a large result-set is found, you can search within or limit the results.

More helpful links