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January 2018 Retro Gaming Article


January 2, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The World Health Organization draft positions “Video Games” as a scapegoat for delinquency

World Health Organization acknowledges gaming disorder
The initial drafts are not final, but the WHO seems to be targeting “Video Games” as a cause rather than understanding any behavior can become addictive.
Those who've been around a while know that "video games" have been targeted by the media as the scapegoat for any and all atrocities from school shootings to lesser delinquency. It's easier to point a finger at electronic entertainment rather than update antiquated gun laws. Just say the perpetrator played violent video games and there's no longer any need to treat mental illness - just let it stew.

Video Games are a form of electronic entertainment, not a disorder!
Too often the easy solution - right or wrong - is the way our society tends to lean. So, when news starts breaking that the World Health Organization (WHO) is adding Gaming disorder to it's International Compendium of Diseases. While this may be an insignificant addition, the generic approach is worrisome to me.

If you look at the language they use, they call out video games as an activity that could become addictive. From this, they loosely assume video games are a cause. As I see it - anything can become addictive. Addiction is the issue, not video games!

Having seen several cycles of video games" being vilified as a cause of bad behavior, this WHO draft including gaming disorder seems like a strange focus. Clearly addiction and mental health issues need to be addressed, but specifically calling attention to video games seems suspicious. Anything you do to extremes or to the detriment of your health & well-being is a problem, but how do video games fit in?

The problem is addition - regardless of the addiction itself. Every time we begin to see progress in teaching society that gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry, they seem to forget and align it as a gateway to deviant actions. Everyone plays video games - citizens, teachers, criminals, circus clowns... everyone!

Mental illness is a disorder, Pac-Man is not!
No one should attach gaming to bad behavior. Bad behavior stems from issues, but Pac-Man and Call Of Duty aren't the culprits. Wise up folks - the WHO, along with mainstream media, need to be reminded that mental illness wasn't invented by Atari and gaming is a pastime that could become addictive, but video games are not the problem.

People are doing crazy stuff - insane crimes. Lets not blame video games and close the file. I worry that this sort of scapegoating occurs in place of any desire to solve our societal problems and mental health issues. Pointing fingers at video games is not a solution!

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