The American Medical Association Council on Science and Public Health has published a document recommending the formal classification of videogame addiction as a disorder, as well as a time limit of one to two hours of daily play.
The 10-page analysis concisely reviews the available data concerning the relationship between videogames and violence, noting that studies of links for those above 10 years old were not conclusive and that the most recent serious study found no long-term lasting impact between playing violent games and a violent disposition.
But the document hones in on the classification of heavy videogame usage as an addiction, observed psychologically as similar to gambling, and as an escape mechanism linked with “social dysfunction/disruption” and dependence.
Council head Mohamed K. Khan told the Wall Street Journal, “Once you begin to classify the patients, you can do better research into the disease. You can tailor therapies. … It can affect reimbursement because insurers will recognize it as a disorder.”
The AMA will vote on the proposal later this month.