AMA Debates Adding “Game Addiction” To List of Disorders

The American Medical Association is having a national meeting this week in Chicago, at which they are expected to discuss and perhaps even formally vote on whether “video game addiction” should be officially classified as a psychological disorder.

I agree with this guy:

“I think we always have to be cautious about overpathologizing behaviors that are trendy, age-specific or generational before we want to get everyone into therapy for it,” said Dr. Jon Grant, a psychiatrist at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Honestly, does no one else see how ridiculous this is? Aren’t there people who watch too much television? Ride their bicycles too much? Anything with an investment-payoff structure has the potential to be addictive, but it has much more to do with the person, not the thing itself. This isn’t going to be much help to anyone — all it does is further demonize gaming as a hobby and a medium.

If there really is a pathology at work here, the AMA should look harder to find the root cause — something that’s endemic to the human body, not a trendy label based on something that happens to be popular right now. If there’s something about this addiction that’s specific to electronic games played on a monitor, prove that. With science, and stuff.

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