Should 'Gaming Addiction' Be Classed as a Mental Disorder?
My Opinions on Gaming Addiction Being Classed as a Disorder
So recently at school, we've been learning about Gaming Addiction– which has recently been classed as a mental disorder. It got me thinking, should it really be classed as a disorder or is that unfair?
For something to be classed as a mental disorder, it has to affect your mood, thinking, and behaviour. And this may be surprising and I am disappointed to say, but violent video games have been proven to affect someone's behaviour. Although it may not make someone become violent, it will lower their sensitivity to aggression and prosocial behaviour, meaning they are less likely to help someone without expecting a reward.
So, yes, being addicted to violent video games does affect somebody's behaviour. But, that doesn't say all "gaming addicts" will be addicted to a violent video game. For example, I could be just as addicted to Animal Crossing as I could Last of Us or Call of Duty and there is no evidence suggesting that being addicted to Animal Crossing, Mario Kart or other non-violent video games will affect my behaviour.
I think it's pretty obvious that video games affect somebody's mood– there have been multiple times that I randomly started crying in class, purely because I was thinking about Rachael Amber from Life is Strange or the heartwarming story of Undertale. Video games have also made me happy and relaxed– and they've also made me angry when I can't get past a certain level.
Thinking is a difficult one– because of course, if you play a video game- you're going to think about that certain video game at some point while you are not playing it. But I don't think it affects your thinking on a mental disorder level, apart from Tetris, of course. I still see the shapes moving through thin air and I stopped playing six months ago.
Yet, all of this could literally relate to a movie in the same way– or even a book to some extent. If gaming can be an addiction, then so can every other form of media! I feel that it would've been better if they had named if "media addiction" and covered all forms of media but society seems to pin things on video games nowadays. Sure, people get addicted to video games and there have been a few severe cases about people being addicted to video games, but people can become addicted to anything– and I mean anything!
I believe the reason society pins problems on video games is because it's new to them, they don't understand it. Games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, although great games, have given the gaming community a bad name. Older people and people who don't play video games tend to associate video games with violence, which isn't fair because there are violent movies and graphic books, too– and yet, they don't have the same reputation as video games.
So no, I do not believe "video game addiction" should be classed as an addiction. However, I do believe "media addiction" should be. We're in a similar situation with social media addiction being classed as a mental disorder, and a "media addiction disorder" could cover that too.