Kids Who Love Video Games May Be Diagnosed With a 'Mental Disorder' Now & The Internet Is Fuming

little boy playing a video game
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There might be bad news for parents who just bought their kids an Xbox or any other video game for Christmas. The World Health Organization announced that it will be updating the International Classification of Diseases (or ICD 11) to include too much video game playing as an official mental disorder. The term, "Gaming Disorder" will be added in 2018, much to the chagrin of video game fans everywhere who don't think they should be considered mentally ill for spending hours playing their beloved games. Although some might be relieved to finally have a name for their Mario affliction -- the good people of the internet thought this latest development sounded straight up ridiculous. 

  • WHO characterizes the disorder as "recurrent gaming behavior" both online and off.


    WHO defines gaming behavior as "impaired control over gaming" (ie, how often and for how long one plays game), "increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests," and "continuation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences," (such as being fired, or missing too much school). 

    The addition of this this condition would mean that Gaming Disorder could be diagnosed by a physician or recognized by insurance providers. But for some people online, it was hard for them to take the addition seriously.

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  • This woman called the malady "bad parenting" or "laziness."

    "[We're] quick to label anything a disorder anymore," she wrote on Facebook. 

  • Another user had strong opinions on the parents who let their kids game.

    "It's the parents who have the mental health problem," she wrote. "Tell them No!"

  • Another woman thought that this diagnoses could give some negligent partners an easy out.

    "A whole bunch of men will be telling their wives and girlfriend not to be mad they spend so much time playing video games," she wrote. 

  • Others pointed out that video games can be a major stress reliever for a whole host of issues, including depression.


  • For one user, video games allowed him to escape the pain of his father's passing.

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    "[Video games] helped me after I lost my father in 2006," one he writes. "It's better than drinking or doing drugs."

  • But this user has seen the disorder do some serious damage.

    "I've personally seen it so I do think some aspects are true," she wrote. 

    It's important to remember that only medical professionals can be sure what qualifies as addiction for some and as casual gaming for others. Although it might seem silly to call a hobby a disorder, there is no doubt that spending too much time doing anything can't be good for you.