American Doctors Want Videogame 'Addiction' Recognised

Mmmm... where can we get videogame methadone?

Posted by Staff
Must... play... NINTENDOGS!!
Must... play... NINTENDOGS!!
The American Medical Association is preparing to recognise 'Internet/video game addiction' as a 'formal diagnostic disorder'.

This move would have wide ranging implications within the law as the ever-growing list of lawyers attempting to blame 'sick videogames' for crimes ranging from street robbery to mass murder, call on a medically-recognised disorder to bolster their defence. It will also inevitably lead to pharmaceutical companies coming out with a range of high-priced and pointless cures that can be dumped inside people.

The proposal comes in the form of a 'Report Of The Council On Science And Public Health: Emotional and Behavioral Effects, Including Addictive Potential, of Video Games" chaired by Mohamed K. Khan, MD, Phd.

Included in the report is the AMA's definition of a 'gamer':
"A gamer is a term used to describe a person who plays games. Historically, a gamer was someone who played role-playing games or war games, but more recently the term has come to include computer and video game players. Although the term technically includes those who do not necessarily consider themselves gamers (ie, casual gamers), it is a commonly used colloquial term to identify persons who spend as much of their leisure time as possible playing or reading about games. Video gaming has traditionally been a social experience, and most video games are playable by more than one person. Multi-player video games can be played either competitively or cooperatively online by using multiple input devices, or by “hotseating."


Recognise yourself?

The report concludes with the following calls to action:

1. That our American Medical Association (AMA) urge agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission as well as national parent and public interest organizations such as the Entertainment Software Rating Board, and parent-teacher organizations to review the current ratings system for accuracy and appropriateness relative to content, and establish an improved ratings systems based on a combined effort from the entertainment industry and peer review. (Directive to Take Action)

2. That our AMA work with key stakeholder organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians to (a) educate physicians on the public health risks of media exposure and how to assess media usage in their pediatric populations; and (b) provide families with educational materials on the appropriate use of video games. (Directive to Take Action)

3. That our AMA, in accordance with the position of the American Academy of Pediatrics, support the recommendation of 1 to 2 hours of total daily screen time, and that the total time allotted to playing video games should be included in that 1 to 2 hour allotment. (Directive to Take Action)

4. That our AMA support increased awareness of the need for parents to monitor and restrict use of video games and the Internet and encourage increased vigilance in monitoring the content of games purchased and played for children 17 years old and younger. (New HOD Policy)

5. That our AMA encourage expanded research by organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health to fund research on the long-term beneficial and detrimental effects not only of video games, but use of the Internet by children under 18 years of age. (Directive to Take Action)

6. That our AMA strongly encourage the consideration and inclusion of "Internet/video game addiction" as a formal diagnostic disorder in the upcoming revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV. (Directive to Take Action)

In the event that 'videogaming addiction' is recognised in the U.S.A. we can certainly expect the British Medical Association to follow suite.

Read More Like This


Comments

Joji 14 Jun 2007 14:16
1/8
More ground for medical hacks to trample into. What's next? Being addicted to living.

Why does everything have to have a disorder? That's such a negative attitude to stamp on people, who just enjoy something. I can understand it, if half the U.S gaming populous were doing WoW tournament playing, with no breaks for food, sleep and lav breaks, but that's not the case. The majority of gamers are responsible and manage their gaming and life well.

Gaming already gets enough negative press for next to no reason, and now this.











hollywooda 14 Jun 2007 14:32
2/8
dont let my missus get wind of this......she'll have me in rehab before you can say "just one level!"
more comments below our sponsor's message
jchasse 14 Jun 2007 18:26
3/8
Joji-
The majority of people don't have cancer either, but you won't see me calling for all the medical hacks to stop their research into cures.

As a person with impulse control issues who is trying to deal with a son who is addicted to video games I think more reaserch is warrented. I don't think it is video games in exclusion that cause problems (cue Thompson!) but their effect on people needs to be studied more. Especially how they can pattern the mechanics and chemical balances in the brains of individuals, making it more likely for them to suffer through personal and social disorders. Especially if they are already susceptable.

Case in point, I love FPSs, after a good stretch of playing I find myself ready to F-anything that moves. Maybe others don't but that does not invalidate the way I feel.

I've drank plenty of alcohol in my life with no ill effects, but I have friends who have managed to drink themselves NEAR TO DEATH!

So yhea more reaserch is warrented and for those of you without issues. I thought I was you once. Right now I need to go and find some visene for my kids eyes. I don't think he has blinked in the last 30 minutes.

Before I get jumped all over for "Parental Involvement", I limit screen time to 30 minutes a day, 1 hour on weekend days. Kids are allowed to "bank" up to one weeks worth of time to play on the weekend but 30 min breaks are required every hour. Even with this I have seen my son justify some shady stuff. Like pausing the clock when it is a cut scene or configuring a characters stats. "Thats not actual playtime!". Reminds of those friends I mentioned above that could have "Just ONE drink with dinner".

Maybe my wife had it right....COLD TURKEY!
Tim Smith 14 Jun 2007 18:44
4/8
jchasse wrote:
Joji-
The majority of people don't have cancer either, but you won't see me calling for all the medical hacks to stop their research into cures.

As a person with impulse control issues who is trying to deal with a son who is addicted to video games I think more reaserch is warrented. I don't think it is video games in exclusion that cause problems (cue Thompson!) but their effect on people needs to be studied more. Especially how they can pattern the mechanics and chemical balances in the brains of individuals, making it more likely for them to suffer through personal and social disorders. Especially if they are already susceptable.

Case in point, I love FPSs, after a good stretch of playing I find myself ready to F-anything that moves. Maybe others don't but that does not invalidate the way I feel.

I've drank plenty of alcohol in my life with no ill effects, but I have friends who have managed to drink themselves NEAR TO DEATH!

So yhea more reaserch is warrented and for those of you without issues. I thought I was you once. Right now I need to go and find some visene for my kids eyes. I don't think he has blinked in the last 30 minutes.

Before I get jumped all over for "Parental Involvement", I limit screen time to 30 minutes a day, 1 hour on weekend days. Kids are allowed to "bank" up to one weeks worth of time to play on the weekend but 30 min breaks are required every hour. Even with this I have seen my son justify some shady stuff. Like pausing the clock when it is a cut scene or configuring a characters stats. "Thats not actual playtime!". Reminds of those friends I mentioned above that could have "Just ONE drink with dinner".

Maybe my wife had it right....COLD TURKEY!


Thanks for the response, which seems fair enough. Research is good - certainly - and I am sure that a high-profile 'disorder' such as 'videogame addiction' is likely to attract the much needed stipend or grant.

However, "6. That our AMA strongly encourage the consideration and inclusion of "Internet/video game addiction" as a formal diagnostic disorder in the upcoming revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV. (Directive to Take Action)" appears to suggest that no matter what the research actually finds.

From my point of view (and boy have I got plenty of experience with un-popular and therefore under-funded research into childhood conditions, don't ask, too dull) this is a case of jumping on to a band wagon. This is especially the case as I can't recall - and have not read about - the AMA framing 'Television Addiction' as a formal diagnostic disorder - and the organisation has had more than half a century to deal with that one.

Looks like another neat way to get another Methylphenidate (Ritalin)-like 'medication' into the market. Aiming it at worried parents who, unlike yourself from the look of it, will fall back on the chemical club.

DoctorDee 14 Jun 2007 19:03
5/8
I know plenty of people who spend every waking hour talking about or watching (but rarely playing) football. Do these people need treatment. Do they need their interest reclassifying as an addiction?

This is (not very) like the laws that prevent us using phones (which are new, and threatening) but allow people to smoke (which is old and familiar) while driving.

C'mon, let's have one rule for all. Fine people for smoking-driving, and have people with hobbies other than video-games classified as nutters!

Ian Boswell 17 Jun 2007 23:59
6/8
Remember this is actually a good thing:
Something is a "Disorder" if it interferes with normal functioning in life. If someone became so "addicted" to a game that it impeded their peer relationships, schoolwork, job performance, etc... it could be seen as something which is harmful to normal functioning and therefore a disorder. It should be noted, however, that this shouldn't be confused with typical use.

What I'm wondering now is: Is it possible to become "dependent" on a game? And if so what are the symptoms of video game withdrawal and how would one "feed" a built up tolerance toward video games? Is there really such as thing as "Stronger" or "harder" games?
mematron 22 Jun 2007 04:17
7/8
They tried this crap back in the 80's The golden age of video games. Anyone remember that they called Desert Storm the " Nintendo War"... It was because the controls for many of the weapons closely resembled video game controls.

C'mon morons, many of the video game companies used to make and or currently produce military simulators.

I wonder what the US military will think of this? They even put out America's Army.. it's a video game to get people interested in joining the US Army.

Also note: people that played D&D were said to be devil worshippers.

My big point is that playing games is not a problem. The problem is dumb people, like the ones who are trying to pass this as a formal diagnostic disorder.

I guess Airline Pilots are screwed. They use Flight Simulator, OMG it's a videogame. yes it was a videogame FIRST. The fact that all the major flight schools use it does not make it something else.

I'll tell you this... If certain people loose this as an outlet, there will be a noticeable increase in real life violence.

I'd rather see some kid blast away a few covenant playing Halo that getting some real armor piercing rounds and pumping up the school faculty.

People that trying to control the population with drugs should be formally diagnosed as being Sociopaths
Jake 29 Jun 2007 19:18
8/8
Well, what do video games provide? purpose, interaction, positive reinforcement... could it simply be that society is failing to provide those things and these video game companies have stepped in to fill the void? how many copies of wow have been sold in the us? there are that many people that have nothing better to do. while having jobs, they gain little emotional support or motivation from fulfilling their tasks. its just a paycheck to pay for the internet, computer, game subscription and car.

btw video games are absolutely nothing like real warfare. first they teach nothing of the operation of these weapons or even general markmanship. furthermore fps videogames train people to run around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off, which is a sure fire way to get killed in actual combat. im an American, the idea that if you hide certain topics away from the general public, they will never have bad thoughts (ie censorship) and by that they will never do anything wrong, is down right despicable to me. to know better, you have to know. rubber padding everything will only produce people that cant thrive outside of a rubber padded environment.
Posting of new comments is now locked for this page.