Games News

Academics join the gaming industry against WHO's 'gaming disorder' classification

Associated Press
Historical photograph of the man stopping tanks on Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square

Thank heavens someone finally spoke up against the World Health Organisation's ridiculous classification of 'gaming disorder' as a recognized behavioral disorder, and it gets better - it's the academics that spoke up.

Don't get us wrong, parent concern is perfectly fine - it's just that it should not be mistaken for proof or any sort of scientific relevance for that matter. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's get to the meat of the matter - is gaming a disorder?

A total of 36 internationally acclaimed and recognised mental health experts, social scientists and academics think not. Just to put things into perspective, these experts hail from universities of Oxford, John Hopkins, Stockholm and Sidney - these are people who know what they're talking about.

Oxford UniversityA photograph of the Oxford University building in the United KingdomOxford University: Such a grand building simply has to be filled with smart people, right?

They maintain that, and they discuss it in great detail in their paper, carelessly lumping an entire social phenomena into a bucket labelled as 'gaming disorder' is irresponsible and isn't something that should be done without serious examination and employment of "robust scientific standards".

The academics claim that moral panic is adding fuel to the fire but that the people in the know should make sure we err on the side of caution. They said that any premature classifications neglect the "non-clinical societal context" and we must say we agree.

With world plus dog mindlessly labelling things without supervision from people who actually know what they're doing, we can never grow properly, be it as people or as gamers. Too often do we fear what we can't understand and try to find parallels to other things we personally fear.

We're confident this isn't the last we hear, what with parent backlash almost imminent, but it's pretty reassuring though to finally have academics on our side, isn't it?