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ESA speaks out against World Health Organization’s ‘gaming disorder’ proposal

As we reported last week, currently the World Health Organization is pushing to have ‘gaming disorder’ classified as an addiction under the ‘disorders due to substance use or addictive behaviors’ banner. This would put gaming addiction in the same league as having a drug or alcohol addiction. Now, the Entertainment Software Association has spoken out against such a move, stating that it trivializes real issues.

Here is the ESA’s statement: “Just like avid sports fans and consumers of all forms of engaging entertainment, gamers are passionate and dedicated with their time. Having captivated gamers for more than four decades, more than two billion people around the world enjoy video games.”

The ESA then goes on to say: “The World Health Organization knows that common sense and objective research prove video games are not addictive. And, putting that official label on them recklessly trivializes real mental health issues like depression and social anxiety disorder, which deserve treatment and the full attention of the medical community. We strongly encourage the World Health Organization to reverse direction on its proposed action.”

The World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases for 2018 is still going under consideration, so it isn’t set on turning ‘gaming disorder’ into a classification just yet.

KitGuru Says: There are plenty of concerns to be had when it comes to WHO’s potential gaming classification. Still, the proposal was put out there to attract opposing arguments, if they prove to be convincing enough, when we’ll see a backtrack on this.

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