The World Health Organisation’s decision to classify video games as a mental disorder is flawed, write Christopher J. Ferguson and Patrick Markey in the New York Times. They criticise claims that link the effects of gaming and drug use due to both releasing dopamine, explaining that most pleasurable activities do so. Furthermore, the very small subset of people that might be considered addicted to video games felt virtually no adverse effects, according to Ferguson and Markey. They warn that labelling video gaming as a disorder vilifies an activity that is normal and not harmful.
We looked at a Psychology Today article from 2013 by Romeo Vitelli to shed light on video games’ interaction with gamer’s brains. He theorises that excessive video gaming can be linked to social problems, ADHD, anxiety and depression. People that struggled to manage stress and integrate with their peers were more likely to find escapism in video games, according to Vitelli, who infers that this starts a vicious cycle that perpetuates depression. Such people need help in coping with their real-life issues to reduce their vulnerability to video game addiction, argues Vitelli.