Gamers speak out at WHO’s classification of gaming addiction as mental health disorder | Tech News

Gamers are fighting back against the World Health Organization (WHO), which said yesterday that “gaming disorder” will appear in a new draft of the organization’s International Classification of Diseases, a compendium of medical conditions.

While a small percentage of gamers may suffer from gaming addiction, just as other people suffer from overuse of the internet or mobile phones, the gamers resented the notion that a passion for games can be described as a mental health disorder, according to a Qutee report that surveyed 800 gamers and was curated by eight gaming influencers.

Above: Qutee’s gamer survey.

Image Credit: Qutee

The report from London-based Qutee, a data-led discussion platform, is based on an online discussion curated by 8 leading gaming influencers, and tells a series of profound and moving stories about how video games are helping gamers cope with social isolation, bullying, absent family and friends, as well as both physical and mental health issues. In other words, it’s about the positive impact gaming has on our lives.

The report said that 44 percent of gamers say that emotional wellbeing is the main benefit of gaming to society while only 3 percent think gaming has no benefit to wider society.

37 percent of gamers say they have made at least half a dozen good friends through gaming.

93 percent feel the media and political obsession around gaming and violence is unjustified.

Gaming also piques gamers’ interest in new hobbies and careers such as history (15 percent), information technology (12 percent) and art (7 percent), while 34 percent cite improved cognition, problem-solving or social skills thanks to gaming.

“When I was younger having been bullied the whole way through school, gaming actually helped me massively, it stopped me from committing suicide because I had something to distract myself,” said one gamer who goes by the handle @robjames.

Another player, @simuk, wrote, “With my wife near death in hospital and me at home alone with a baby and two older kids to look after with a head injury, PTSD and no job, gaming saved not only my life but also saved my family.”

While gamers are willing to acknowledge the potential downsides of their past-time, with 23 percent claiming that gaming addiction should be ranked alongside drug/alcohol/gambling addiction, the question of commentators linking violence with gaming drew a nearly unanimous response. About 85 percent of the discussion focused on positive sentiments toward gaming.

As one gamer put it, “Games are a good way to vent your anger rather than resorting to violence.”

Above: Qutee’s survey of 835 gamers has its own take on gaming addiction.

Image Credit: Qutee

The report is based on an online discussion on Qutee led curated by a panel of respected gaming/tech data influencers such as Capguntom, Phylol, Lionheartx10, Huzzy among others. The data discussion generated over 4,500 poll interactions and almost 900 comments from 835 gamers worldwide during May.

“It’s easy for external commentators to dismiss or disparage an ever-expanding virtual world that they don’t understand, which is why we’ve enabled gamers to come together and share their innermost thoughts on what gaming means to them,” said Tim Wilson, CEO of Qutee, in a statement.

95 percent of the 835 gamers who participated were aged between 18 and 34, with 51 percent living in the US, 19 percent in the UK, and the remaining 30 percent living in other parts of the world.

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