WHO considers compulsive video gaming as mental health disorder

Published: Jun. 25, 2018 at 3:50 PM AKDT
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The World Health Organization (WHO) is now considering compulsive video gaming as a mental health disorder.

WHO is classifying the disorder as "continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences."

Dr. Nadine Baker, a psychologist with Providence Medical Group Behavioral Health says entertainment like video games are designed to keep you hooked.

"People are experiencing anxiety, a sense of depression, loneliness, and just general dissatisfaction," Dr. Baker said.

Other characteristics of the gaming disorder are when gaming takes priority over daily activities and impairment of interpersonal relationships with friends or family.

WHO says a small percentage of people fall into the category of compulsive video gaming as a mental health disorder.

Johnathon Steigleman, says he is someone who has played a lot of video games and has benefited from playing.

Steigleman received a scholarship for video gaming or what is known as e-sports.

"Anyone can play e-sports, it's just playing the competitive version of it if you take it a little bit seriously," said Steigleman.

During high school, Steigleman admits that on many days, he spent at least five hours a day playing video games.

His specialty is the video game League of Legends, and Steigleman says he is in the top one percent of players.

"I would not say I am addicted. There is definitely times where I wanted to stop and I have taken week breaks," Steigleman said.

For Steigleman, gaming paid off and he is now into his second year of college at Southwest Baptist University studying computer science.

Steigleman gives some advice for future gamers.

"Definitely keep playing but don't put it over things like school or staying healthy," Steigleman said.