World Health Organization may soon recognize video game addiction

Photo: Pexels, MGN, file

The World Health Organization is considering placing "gaming disorder" on the official list of mental illnesses.

Roe Sanchez, a family therapist, said there are warning signs with any type of addiction.

"They neglect their other responsibilities, they keep on playing these internet games even when they know that it's already causing problems in their daily lives," said Sanchez.

But the decision doesn't mean playing video games is a problem. It's how you play them.

Joshua Cargill is a gamer. He said listing video game addiction as a disorder isn't necessary.

"Honestly, in my opinion, it's not really addictive," Cargill said. "There's just people who can make it addictive. It's like sugar. You can be addicted to sugar but also you can also just have it in moderation."

Those addicted to video games prioritize the virtual world so much they forget to have hobbies in the real world.

"You also have to find other outlets," said Cargill. "You can't just focus on video games, because if you focus on video games you're going to get addicted to it."

But when a hobby can potentially turn into an addiction, it's important to monitor usage.

"Letting them earn internet game time instead of just letting them freely use internet games when they get home," said Sanchez. "Tell them that you need to do chores first or you need to do homework first before you can play those games."

Adding "gaming disorder" to the list of mental illnesses means it will be recognized by doctors and insurance companies.

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