Today the World Health Organisation is notifying governments that they are to treat gaming disorder as a mental health condition, in line with its 11th International Classification of Diseases (ICD).
When reading various media outlets coverage of the story my mind goes back to a dissertation I wrote in college. The subject was whether or not video games can be considered an art form.
The following excerpt is a chapter from that assignment, where I look at addiction in the context of video games and how a game’s designers decision to employ psychological hooks can have an effect on the behaviour and health of people within society. It is preceded by a chapter on violence in video games and flows into a chapter on exploitative game design. If these topics interest you then I have made the full text available online.
Dissertation (Addiction Chapter Excerpt)
In retrospect, I feel that my writing was rather muddled and unfocused. Evidence and interviews that lacked discussion or analysis, poorly designed surveys that restricted choices, an overload of disparate sources that were cherrypicked mainly for effect. My desire to explore the role of the game designer and my belief that they should consider their social responsibility when making game design choices encroaches upon and makes this dissertation a loosely connected and shallow exploration of the topics covered.
Despite these faults, I thought it was nice to compare my previous exploration of this issue against how I think and feel about it today – I notice some similarities as well as some differences. Perhaps I will revisit this subject in a more focused manner sometime in the future. For now, I can feel glad that action is being taken to help those who may need it.