The World Health Organization says obsessive gaming is a mental - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

The World Health Organization says obsessive gaming is a mental health condition

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The World Health Organization has officially classified 'gaming disorder' as an addiction. For video game players, spotting danger in the virtual world is easy, but how about in the real world? According to the WHO, gamers might want to take a small step back into reality.

The World Health Organization is officially classifying compulsive playing of video games as a mental health condition. 

Experts and players alike say that entering another world for a while and living there is freeing in a way.

Dr. Damien Thomas specializes in addiction and recovery. 

"You can specialize them. You can personalize them to where you can actually engulf yourself in a certain persona," Explained Dr. Thomas. 

So what does the new classification mean? It could help families and health care workers identify the risks of gaming and treat them accordingly.

"It will now be published in our diagnostic manual thus allowing us to treat it on an officially clinical basis," added Dr. Thomas.

Chris Moore has been gaming since he was 11. 

When asked what his favorite video game was, he answered "Black Ops" without hesitating.  

Chris said when Call of Duty 2 came out he played it non-stop for a week. He ate while he played and drank Red Bull to stay awake.

"It's just like," he said trying to come up with the right words. "It's kinda like football fans. Some of them can be really addicted to their football team. It's just like that."

Moore plays video games with his kids a lot.  

"Sometimes I will even get mad because I'm losing or something and they will tell me to chill out," he said. 

When asked if he thought that was healthy? He said, "No."

Of course, not every child or adult who spends hours playing games is an addict. The condition is reserved for people whose lives are negatively impacted by their playing.   
    
"People get unsocialized. They cut themselves off from the public and stay inside," said Moore. "It's not healthy either. You can gain weight unless you're not eating and playing." 

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