Now, when I was growing up, we didn't have no playstation 3, xbox 360, or a Wii. The craze was above, the classic Atari 2600 (image credit). I played that thing for hours and hours. We didn't have fifteen different buttons like the consoles today. Nope, we had the "Red Button" and a joystick (insert joke here).
I remember my first (and only) Space Invaders tournament. I got killed on the first screen. I was crushed because I practiced hours and hours before that. I guess I just froze up. I remember counting down the days until Pac-Mac was released. Ah, those memories....
Little did I know at the time, that I had a problem. I had an addiction. I had an addiciton to video games. Yes, that's right. That was the reason I didn't go out and play outside as I was growing up. That was the reason I felt an attraction to computers and technology - because I couldn't get enough of it. That's why I'm not addicted to blogging.... Uh, sure.
The American Medical Association, my professional organization, is now going to bail me out. The organization I pay hunderds of dollars each year to be a member, is now going to vote to classify Video Game Addiction as a medical diagnosis (Associated Press).
A leading council of the nation's largest doctors' group wants to have this behavior officially classified as a psychiatric disorder, to raise awareness and enable sufferers to get insurance coverage for treatment.I definitely have an opinion on this. Now, I'm not going to deny that probably a small percentage of children, adolescents, and adults will probably qualify for this medical/psychiatric diagnosis. We've all heard stories of addictions taken too far and destroying lives.
In a report prepared for the American Medical Association's annual policy meeting starting Saturday in Chicago, the council asks the group to lobby for the disorder to be included in a widely used mental illness manual created and published by the American Psychiatric Association. AMA delegates could vote on the proposal as early as Monday.
It likely won't happen without heated debate. Video game makers scoff at the notion that their products can cause a psychiatric disorder. Even some mental health experts say labeling the habit a formal addiction is going too far.
The problem that I have is that there will be many people out there who will try to take advantage of this and blame whatever is going on in their life to video games. A move like this by the AMA is going to continue to advance the idea of a lack of personal accountability and personal responsibility that is occurring in this culture.
We're all familiar with drug addiction. But, in recent years, there has been talk about internet addiction, sex addiction, and now video game addiction. When and where is this going to stop?
There are millions of Americans in this country right now who do not have basic health insurance. This move by the AMA will make is possible for insurance companies to cover treatment for Video Game Addiction. Is this the right thing to do?
Hey AMA, what about all the uninsured in America? Did you forget about them? What are you going to do about that? Maybe the Video Game Addiction lobby is making more contributions to your coffers than the uninsured are. This entire situation does not sit well with me. We'll have to see what the AMA does next week.