Not everyone is on board with excessive gaming being a mental condition

Fortnite on cellphone 

Playing video games like the popular Fortnite Game is fun for most, but a new classification by the World Health Organization shows that for some gaming too much may be addictive and can actually be listed as a mental health condition.

The term is "gaming disorder" and signs include placing gaming as a priority over other things, deteriorating personal relationships with family and friends and sometimes even sleep disorders.   

"Not just that they enjoy playing a game but many are spending two, three, four, five, some eight,ten hours a day," said Marion Travers, founder and CEO of Life Mark counseling services. "They're not even noticing that they started playing at 5pm when they got home and now its 2 am."

We spoke to one parent who says he isn't sure if he'd classify his son's gaming as a disorder, but did say his son's infatuation with Fortnite is almost like hypnosis. 

"He plays it to the point that he don't want to go to school no more," said Melvin Gamble. "He waits till we go to sleep he sneaks in there, I wake up go to work and he's in there playing the game."

But lifelong gamers say video games can be beneficial if you keep them in moderation. As Matt Gilland explains games can provide a lot of good things too.  

"It can be really great for therapy to help your mind break through some boundaries and force yourself to get to your next step," Gillard said. 

He added it's also a place where you can meet friends online and develop relationships.

"A month turns into a year and before you know it, you're talking about real life things, because you connect with people even long distance," Gillard said. 

Ultimately though, not everyone is on board with gaming disorders being considered a mental health condition. The American Psychological Association does not recognize it as of now and those like Travers say more testing and research needs to be done before they can reach that conclusion. 
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Categories: Local News, Maryland

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