Physicians to vote on Internet and video game addiction

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Chicago (IL) – Doctors belonging to the American Medical Association will vote on whether Internet and video game addiction is a real disease.  The vote will take place at the AMA national meeting next week in Chicago and could usher in an age where World of Warcraft addicts are given drugs to curb their desires.

The vote was spearheaded by Doctor Mohamed Khan with the AMA’s Council on Science and Pubilc Health.  Khan authored a study called “Emotional and Behavioral Effects, Including Addictive Potential, of Video Games” and recommended that Internet/video game addiction be added as a formal diagnostic disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV).  Since the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is responsible for additions to the DSM-IV, its members will have their own vote, once the vote passes the AMA.

Khan also recommended that parents should allow their children to be in front of television and computer screens for a maximum of one to two hours a day.  Video game time would be included in that amount.

Classifying Internet and video game addiction as a formal disorder would allow drug companies to manufacture drugs specifically for the disorder.  The companies could also retarget marketing of preexisting drugs to addicted gamers.  Methadone treatment for World of Warcraft players could be just around the corner.