Main menu

"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

CNN: Video games not an addiction

by Ken Newquist / June 26, 2007

The American Medical Association has decided that "video game addiction" isn't a medical condition, though did say the subject needs more study. Hooray for gamers. At least for another five years, when they will announce the results of their studies.

Now I'm no addiction expert or psychiatrist, but it seems to me that they should be looking at some sort of disorder in the individuals who play the games, rather than the games themselves. Which is to say; it's not the games that are inherently addictive -- as is shown by the vast majority of people who can pick up a game and put it back down again -- it's the people who have something in their brains that fires in such a way that they can't just walk away from the computer. Call them addictive personalities -- we've all seen them, and I expect they are just as likely to get hooked on gambling, sports or anything else that might feed that part of their brain that demands this kind of stimulation.

I'm also curious as to the source of the statistic in the article that 10% of gamers are addicted. Exactly what is the source of that number, and what does "addicted" mean ... are they unable to put down the controller and step away from the computer? Or do they simply brush off traditional social contact in favor of the game? My biggest problem with the whole "addition society" we live in is that the term has become so diluted as to be meaningless, while at the same time it's increasingly used to describe any behavior that a certain group of people disagree with.

It's infuriating ... but perhaps I'm just an anger addict.