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WHO to recognize gaming disorder as mental health condition in 2018

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Peter77, Jan 6, 2018.

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  1. FMark92

    FMark92

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    Yeah sorry I forgot to add facebook to the list.

    But the whole thing is still just a symptom.
     
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  2. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    I agree and I think we should not focus on just the tip of the "iceberg", but instead on the whole thing and ask where it's coming from.
     
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  3. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    It's coming from the simple fact these kids are living more waking hours inside a screen than they are looking at the real world. This is something of a running joke but the tragedy of it is that developing minds do not know the difference.

    An ideal computer for really young children would be an 8 bit with some manuals. The whole process of working that out requires developing and maintaining real world skills while teaching some pretty hardcore technical ones. That is so different from a phone on so much that facebook and the like are normalized to be part of real life itself, so you do get teenage girls committing suicide because they said the wrong thing by mistake.

    This subject is a thing we are all part of, on this forum, right now.
     
  4. Teila

    Teila

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    Wow....

    Have any of you ever lived with someone you love who has an addiction? I have. And I deal with it every day now with a loved one...game addiction. It is painful and horrible. I find some of what people are saying here is horribly insensitive.

    I know that we love games and it is easy to dig our head in the sand rather than have something happen which might just point out one flaw in our beloved game playing/making. But I am thrilled that WHO is recognizing this as an actual problem, just like any form of addiction.

    I also have a mother who is a recovering alcoholic and she has been sober for a long time. I have vivid memories of dumping out the vodka bottles as a teen and crying when she bought new ones. I get sad flashbacks when I now have to watch another loved one go through a similar process....only this time, game addiction, unlike alcohol addiction is acceptable to so many.

    Oh..it is just a way to release stress. Well, I can tell you that the stress from an addiction affects everyone in the family, not just the person who thinks games release stress.

    Start thinking of the people involved in this. I HIGHLY suggest you watch the Extra Credits video on this. One of the guys involved with EC pour out his soul online about his addiction. Very moving. Also, there is a parent group online where mothers and fathers come together to help each through their child's game addiction. Many of these children are young adults who refuse to study, work, or anything but play games, forcing their parents to kick them out on the street. Unless you have ever had to do that, you have no idea how that can hurt.

    I love games. I am making a game. But I know that while I can pick up a bottle of hard cider and drink it, my mother can never do that. I know that there are some gamers out there who are destroying their lives and hurting their families.

    Denial will get you no where. We have to be aware as developers so we can be part of the solution. Otherwise, we will lose.
     
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  5. Teila

    Teila

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    And you can get your health insurance to pay for something that has a label. That is very important.
     
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  6. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    Who would be up for a No-Forum-February? Any volunteers?

    This one, right? I haven't rewatched them now, but I remember that I watched them in the past.



     
  7. LaneFox

    LaneFox

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    I can quit posting any time I want!
     
  8. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    @hippocoder already came at this from one direction. I'm going to add another.
    I think the "at the dinner table" is the important part there, rather than whether it's phones or celebrity mags or weight lifting.

    There's a time and a place for things. If an unrelated activity is continually interfering with time you should be spending with your family or loved ones then that's potentially a problem that should be addressed. Same deal if something is preventing you from working, sleeping, eating properly, socialising, getting exercise or meeting any of your other needs.

    @hippocoder also covered this, but one of the particularly nasty things with kids getting out of balance is that they can neither recognise imbalance nor conceive of the future impacts it will have. Try telling a kid that they need to spend more time socialising because if they don't practice now they'll miss out on opportunities for advancement when they grow up. Or that if they don't do physical activities they'll get unhealthy and probably overweight. Or that if they don't spend time with their grandparents they'll regret it after they've passed on.

    It's easy for adults to say those things, but they're meaningless to kids because they've no concept of those things until after they've had some kind of exposure to them. That exposure can be second hand shared experiences, but they'll even miss out on that if they're bottling themselves up in solitary activities all of the time.

    Note that none of this is specific to video games. As a kid I was into a) computers and b) reading. That worked out pretty darn well for me, but I'm also glad that I was also pushed into doing other things despite my resistance at the time. I think that those pushes are the responsibility of the adults looking after kids, as opposed to the people making books / games / phones / and so on, but I completely and utterly agree that anything which makes that significantly harder either commonly or at scale is a problem that we should identify, accept and address. Whether it's a phone, a bottle, a video game or anything else, denying that a problem exists doesn't make it any better - it just stops people from figuring out solutions.

    Also keep in mind that in the case of classrooms, dinner tables and other group activities, the problem isn't isolated to the person stuck to the phone. They're missing out on some of whatever is going on, but other people are also missing out on them, and everyone misses out when it takes time and effort from responsible adults / teachers to try and restore some kind of balance. Doubly so when that causes some kind of outburst.

    As I've often said before, the time spent playing games, reading books, looking at your phone, etc. isn't actually the problem. The problem is time not being spent on productive tasks, meeting personal needs, building social skills and consolidating bonds with those close to you. The deniers are getting hung up on what addicts are doing, but that's not the point - it's really about what they're not doing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
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  9. Kiwasi

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    I believe they already marked social media addiction as a problem a while back. I can personally attest that forum addiction can be a real problem. Just take a look at my stats, and compare it to the number of games I've actually released.

    Health insurance? What is this strange thing you speak of? :p

    But in seriousness, this is probably why the WHO acknowledged it. When something has a proper name and a label, everyone takes it more seriously. They will also put out a bunch of diagnostics around it too, which will help separate "People who like playing games" from "People who have an inability to stop playing games when games have a detrimental effect on their health".

    It will also give governments more ammo to control the more predatory practices of game developers. We know that without rules and regulations, there are devs out there who will try and make a quick buck off of anything they can. We shouldn't feel happy with letting people profit at the expense of other peoples health.
     
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  10. Teila

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    I agree with most of that quote.

    Yes, it is about what they are not doing...but a lot of what they are not doing is not so simple as reading books and socializing. They are not growing up. They are not getting jobs or having real relationships with others, or taking care of their health.

    And what is they doing as they are in the thralls of the addiction? It is destroying families as they watch their loved one become less and less able to cope with the real world, not just the addict. So it really is about what the addicts are doing as well as what they are not doing. Although, I have no doubt that an addict will find some new addiction unless they get help.

    It is a complex issue and as with all complex issues there is no easy way out.

    I do not allow my kids to have phones or computers or any electronics at the dinner table. At night, the electronics are put away, away from the bedrooms. Yes, my kids are too old for me to have to do that, but I have done it for a long time and they know that if they want to live in our house beyond the age of 18, they will not spend all their time on the computer....UNLESS they are doing something productive. Schoolwork is fine. Short time visiting with friends online is fine. Work is fine (kids work on game art and coding). Those are productive.

    But hours upon hours browsing the web? No. I tell them to go get their own apartment so I do not have to watch as they destroy their future. So far, no takers. :) There are days though...when I have about had it and am ready to throw every electronic item out the window. lol And they know I will too. ;)

    Oh, and a couple of hours playing games is fine too! lol
     
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  11. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Hunt! Kill! Red blood! Fresh meat!

    Primitive_Sponge_SpongeGar_Caveman_SpongeBob_Meme_by_Dungleberry_DeviantArt.png

    It's easy to get caught up in semantics, which is kind of useless. As with all things, there is a balance between good and bad. Playing a lot of video games because its what you enjoy doing in free time -- fine. Playing video games so much that it makes you feel depressed and shut-off from the real world, but even though you want to stop you just keep coming back -- bad.

    Obviously video games aren't the source of the problem, but I doubt society as a whole is about to make any radical changes, so some sugar pills to alleviate symptoms isn't going to hurt anyone. Alas, the only true cure is for the afflicted person to make radical life changes themselves, which can be helped by the encouragement of others. Telling people that they don't have an issue and that they are just mentally weak, etc., is useless. This is only the accuser patting themselves on the back by saying in a reverse way "but me, I'm strong!"

    If you want to help people but do so in a more effective way than clunky bureaucracies, all you have do is be their friend.
     
  12. Nscopz

    Nscopz

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    People die when not gaming to. Its usually lack of sleep and lack of food they die form. Gaming can also have a positive effect on some people that needs to train there brain after accident.

    WHO is fake news.
     
  13. Martin_H

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    Lucky you!

    Does the moderation backend have handy tools like "x-days temp-ban from writing forum posts" but still allowing users to write private messages?
     
  14. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Nobody here is saying otherwise.
     
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  15. Nscopz

    Nscopz

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    Well WHO is saying otherwise. People have to take responsible for there actions, parents have to take responsible for there kids. You can't have safety every thing in this world just because some one cant take care of them self's.
     
  16. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Where? Saying "game addiction is a thing" is not the same as saying "games can not have any positive effect under any circumstances for anyone ever".

    I think that a lot of people here are potentially seeing the former, interpreting it as the latter, and feeling the urge to jump to the defence of something that doesn't need defending.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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  17. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    For the people arguing against the WHO giving this a label, have you actually read what the label is for? You might find it less of a big deal (or, in some cases, less of an attack?) if you see specifically what they're referring to. They are not, from what we've seen so far, making a blanket statement that video games are the epitome of evil.

    From the BBC:
    Seriously, you shouldn't need the WHO to stick a label on it to know someone exhibiting the behaviour described there needs help. And the fact that the label is there doesn't do anyone any harm.

    Also keep in mind that the last version of this document was finished in 1992. So this isn't a sudden thing to have come up, it's just that it's been ~25 years since the last one was written, during which time video games have become quite a phenomenon.
     
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  18. Nscopz

    Nscopz

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    Any thing can produce dopamin in the brain, just outside play can do this to. It's a happy drug your own body produce's. It doesn't disconnected your brain for reasoning thinkings.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
  19. FMark92

    FMark92

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    B-But muh socially approved addictions!
     
  20. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Why are you so hung up on this, exactly? If you're gaming in a healthy manner, it does not apply to you.

    Yes, and you can addicted to absolutely anything that triggers dopamine release.

    Have you heard about the rat experiment? Aka "Skinner Box". Give a rat a button wired into pleasure center, and it'll keep mashing the button til death. Humans are no different.
     
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  21. Martin_H

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    I haven't read their official full statement I think, but I'm fully aware of the part you've quoted.

    That's kinda my point why that label is not very helpful. It describes a situation where everyone agrees "Yeah of course that's a problem!". I don't see the value it adds, yet...
    If I go by such an extreme set of criteria for an addiction diagnosis, then I have no addiction problems with anything, not even close! But I know I have problems "just quitting for 3 months" with a bunch of things, even though no single one of them is wrecking havoc in my life.

    I don't think it's early enough to have any evidence either way. And I think no one's capable of predicting all ramifications. E.g. when someone goes to see a psychiatrist because they stopped doing freelance work and played games for 3 months straight (I never did that, it's just an example), depending on whether the official diagnosis for that is "gaming addiction" or "depression", that might affect their medical statistical "risk-profile" for insurances, and thus increase cost and/or limit availability to different degrees for getting occupational disablement insurance (hope the dictionary game me the right term for that one) or different private health-care plans in the future. Existence of past diagnosed addiction problems might also be a factor in whether or not someone can get prescriptions for drugs that have their own addiction risks. I'm sure some positive things can come from it too! But ultimately I feel like it's a total gamble on what concequences this will have both on a small and large scale, and it's not the kind of experiment where I feel like it's a good idea to "just go for it and see what happens" on a global scale.

    Ultimately since I can't predict the future either, I don't feel super strongly about this either way, I'm just not convinced it's a good idea at this point in time and the way it's been proposed, that's all.
     
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  22. Peter77

    Peter77

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    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/27/health/video-game-disorder-who/index.html
     
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  23. Martin_H

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    Do you know the experiment with the rats that have access to cocain laced water and the related A/B tests between rats that live in sad prison-like cages and others that live in happy "rat parks" with plenty of opportunity to socialize with other rats? Iirc the result was that only the rats who lived in the sad circumstances drank themselves to death on cocain water.

    That's a good argument, but to me it sounds a lot like a flaw with the healthcare systems in general. I'd prefer that flaw to be fixed instead of extending the catalogue of "approved" problems by 1 and leaving many other real problems still not covered by the insurances.
     
  24. Billy4184

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    Well, it looks like 'digital life' is just becoming a place where people engage in addictive behaviours (which some profit from) and then get treated when it ruins their life (which others profit from). What a great ecosystem. Nobody is to blame, nobody has any responsibility.

    I suppose it's not fair to criticize the WHO for putting their finger in as well, but I guess my main objection is that I believe the more that a problem fragments and multiplies, and the more that its effects and the corrective responses get laced into the fabric of society, industry and social and economic transactions, the harder it becomes to corner and eradicate. It becomes normalised into many aspects of everyday life in too many forms to be able to deal with efficiently.
     
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  25. angrypenguin

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    Official recognition, for things like healthcare and insurance for one.
     
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  26. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    I can thread ban for specific periods but I haven't tested that scenario. There's temp bans for any period of time but none actually allowing PMs still... unless a temp ban already does. I've never tested it.
     
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  27. Braineeee

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    I have witnessed a few situations where I could definitely tell someone had a problem. I had a friend my first year of University who had ADD and obviously some other things going on. He dropped out and leading up to that point in time I always found him on the PC playing games. He wouldn't go to class. He wouldn't shower sometimes and even he admitted that he had a problem. I wasn't sure how to help him. Didn't stop me from trying... I had my own problems to sort out too.
     
  28. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    In the name of science I'm going to ban myself for 24 hours. If I don't come back, well, feel free to start spamming and swearing and stuff, at least until Unity gets out of bed :D

    3....2....1......Wheeeee!
     
  29. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    ....and I'm back. Turns out I can't ban myself.
     
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  30. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    You must believe in yourself and your abilities. Keep trying until you succeed.
     
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  31. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Yup. Exactly. That's what digital life is about.

    Building skinner boxes is profitable, when the rats have cash to pay.
     
  32. chingwa

    chingwa

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    I think WHO needs to add "Behavior Attribution Disorder (BAD)" to refer to themselves constantly categorizing addiction-behavior into newly prescribable "diseases". You can have an addiction to anything.
     
  33. Teila

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    Um...wait a minute.

    If someone goes to a psychiatrist because they have a problem, any problem, the last thing they need to worry about is their future health care or job. If they are sick enough that they go themselves, then something is wrong. If they are addicted, I doubt they will go to the psychiatrist after playing games for 3 months straight unless they see it as problem.

    Trust me, if they have a problem, and they know it enough that they pick up that phone, then the best them for them is to go see the doctor or therapist. That means they are smart, and taking care of themselves.

    I feel like this thread has become a place of justification.

    Games are not bad. Addiction is bad. Beer is not bad. Addiction is bad. WHO is helping people who want to get help to get the help they need. The label will help them get their therapy and medication covered by their insurance.

    If they truly have a problem, then getting help gives them a much better future than they could have without the help.

    I know....two people I love, and one has not had a drink for over 20 years. The other is still struggling and the therapy has helped a great deal.
     
  34. Martin_H

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    But I never said anything against getting help... At least I didn't intend to.

    Yeah, I'm out. I shouldn't have participated to begin with, it's mostly my forum addiction that dragged me into it. I'm not even joking, staying away from the forum is much harder for me than not playing games.

    Try a 24h temp-ban on me instead. I'll tell you afterwards if I'm still able to PM.
     
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  35. chingwa

    chingwa

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    I think they need a new category for that. ;)
     
  36. Arctic_Evolution

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    And today in the national bird weekly, the parrots recognise recognition as a mental disorder. One squawked "Oh we parrots don't even recognise. We don't even cognise! Talking, bah! Who needs it? Who? But who of course! But we sing, yes. And we do fly! But we would hate to think we are all looking down on you all."

    *Reports of human subscribers to National Bird Weekly. 0.
     
  37. Amon

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    Toxicity works just the same for the mind as it does for the body. Anything can be taken and overdone to a toxic level.

    The problem cannot be stopped by taking away the toxin. You have to find out why said person decided to take things to the toxic level.

    Too much use of the words beginning with tox? See...?
     
  38. Teila

    Teila

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    Which is exactly why having an addiction placed into the WHO list is a good idea. It allows people to get the help they need to control the addiction.

    No one said games should be taken away. WHO did not say that either. Paranoia is also a symptom of a mental illness. I seem to be seeing that here. ;)
     
  39. chingwa

    chingwa

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    "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you."
    -Fox Mulder
     
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  40. grimunk

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    It doesn't help that most games these days use addictive mechanics pioneered by gambling. I don't think they are treating obsessive gambling like a mental disorder though...
     
  41. Peter77

    Peter77

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    http://apps.who.int/classifications/icd10/browse/2016/en#/F63.0
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25751445
     
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  42. Arctic_Evolution

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    This is a very polarised situation, of the old regime not so "jacked in" and the new generations, of super immersion and the freedom of creating own realities. The common institutions always promote the status quo and their take on things, is a common monotone take of many individuals, that are not necessarily the highest insight in the world, but filled with their own biases. Many people look at things in black and white, unable to peel through the grey, and gaming 24/7 is not so much a problem than, we do not have the facilities to support it, because it is such a frontier zone in the total history of mankind. it is not going away any time soon, and the idea of sitting in your stem cell chair, is not so far off, that reality is only what you make it anyway, and imagination, dreams show this. I have by coincidence done a youtube discourse on this, as I am seeing into this future more by my own foray into the development halls. I say in my video, there is as much "disease" in humanity working in jobs 9-5 to pay off a mortgage, than gaming, but it all depends on what side of the fence you are looking. Technology is not going away, but it is going to take us where it takes us. The destructive episodes people may experience due to intense gaming binges, is as with all new frontiers. It could more be to do with lack of blood flow at times, and postures, and technology itself could mitigate that. I do not see a future of people working 9-5, 6 days a week. This is preposterous. Surely technology will give the world The Jetsons type experience, we all would aim for. So more and more I see the slogan of "more jobs" as the disease, and entertainment should be our mainstay. If people had a better life off of their gaming systems, they would naturally gravitate to that. I give these studies no credit, when they fail to consider the whole human condition. So when I said about the birds having a view above us, I am in analogy saying, humans have no idea of what truly is their ills.
     
  43. angrypenguin

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    If your words are to be taken literally, I would argue that the problem with "gaming 24/7" is that it is genuinely unsustainable. If everyone was doing that then in the not-too-distant future we'd run out of food and all the lights would turn off.

    Maybe if we invent some robot babysitters they can do all the productive stuff while we tune out from the world? But even then, we'd run out of games to play... then what?

    As things get more efficient "more jobs" can also mean "fewer working hours". I've read that this is already slowly happening, though I don't know how true it is.

    Anyway, as much as I love games and movies and books, "entertainment" is a distraction that helps us relax. Too much of that is a bad thing. Even if a person has fewer hours of work they have to do - to meet obligations or pay bills or whatnot - then it's still good to do productive stuff that you choose to do. For me that's making video games, but plenty of people love gardening, or making music, or writing, or building things, or looking after wildlife or nature, cooking, and so on and so forth. And that's not even getting into things like socialisation, community interaction, learning, travel...

    Take it from someone who's really into their video games: if that's all a person did then they'd be living a husk of a life and missing out on a heck of a lot of really cool other stuff.
     
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  44. Billy4184

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    It's tempting to think so, but I sometimes wonder what sort of working hours peasants from a few centuries ago would have predicted for themselves in the future, had they been able to imagine the fantastic machinery that we have developed today. We have already made not one but several several warp jumps along into the evolution of working life in a technological society, and reducing hours seems somehow further than ever over the horizon, given the impending freelance economy.

    In any case, I think that reducing working hours is probably not a good idea. If there is one thing that we can infer from psychology, I think it's that it's terribly inefficient and disfunctional to expect the average person to leisurely, and of their own accord, approach the frontiers that they must work to cross. There is an epidemic (as I see it) of the failure of society to properly 'test' a person, where the signs are most obvious in teenagers, who have an excessive desire to participate in fantasies of Hunger Games style scenarios and dystopian futures.

    I consider it probably the most dangerous risk to the human species (and one of the things that comes to mind when I consider how strange it is that we haven't discovered communications from intelligent life on other planets) that we are approaching a situation where we have the means to satisfy all our desires (those things which make us do interesting things) in incredibly unproductive ways, and engage ourselves almost fully in illusions and delusions. This is causing not just damage to art itself (i.e., nobody can seem to imagine an enterprising scifi story that's not a dystopian one) but it's also manifesting in a resetting of our sensibilities toward a very low threshold, where, as individuals and groups, we attack eachother and play the victim for the most ridiculously petty forms of 'aggression'.

    That's why, besides the fact that I like space and rockets and all that stuff, I think it's very, very important that we get off this prison planet that's fast becoming one big mental health ward, and into the sort of challenging environment where we perhaps can realize again all the things that make us human.
     
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  45. HeadClot88

    HeadClot88

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Posts:
    631
    So for those who are saying that being addicted to a device such as a computer or a Cell phone is not real. I am living proof that it is a real thing. When this article came out I was like many people saying that it is not real. Then I looked at myself and my habits. This was really hard for me to come to grips with. I tend to spend allot of time on the Computer and by extension on a smart phone. At-least 8 hrs a day combined on both sometimes more.

    That said - I am taking measures to cut back in doses. It is really hard like any other addiction.

    So what did I do?

    1. I put timers on my PC to ensure that I got away and did stuff other than just loaf at the Computer. I set up a routine for myself.
    2. I traded in my Google Pixel for a Nokia 3310 3G - I was a always looking at the screen.of my phone. The Nokia 3310 make sure that I do not do that. Since it is basically a classic cell phone.

    In short I was addicted to being connected to the internet at all times. I am starting to fix that. Even if it is just myself.

    :)
     
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  46. Nscopz

    Nscopz

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Posts:
    31
    I am going to start walking in the woods 24/7. Its additive to me, so please remove all the trees in the woods. WHO i beg you remove the trees..
     
  47. Murgilod

    Murgilod

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Posts:
    3,266
    Literally nobody is saying that games are going away you literal child.
     
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  48. Nscopz

    Nscopz

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Posts:
    31
    Not directly, but WHO has pointed it as a illness (sickness). It's not a good thing for us developers. My statement was mainly ironical, no need for harassment just because you diden't comprehend the message.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  49. Murgilod

    Murgilod

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Posts:
    3,266
    No, this is fine for developers. There is honestly NOTHING wrong with addictions being recognised and classified unless you are specifically exploiting that addiction.
     
  50. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Posts:
    4,750
    Agoraphobia is also a disorder. Will WHO take away other people?

    Also, if addictive practices in games are discouraged, I think it will be good for the industry.
     
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