Although addiction to technology and games is not currently recognized as a clinical condition, the consequences can be dire, and some believe that the addiction is serious enough to merit inclusion in the next edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
Andy Paine, chairman of the association for UK Interactive Entertainment, isn’t as convinced. He told BBC’s Newsbeat, "[t]he word 'addiction' is quite emotive. If we're talking about clinical addiction - proven to be something that people want as a dependency - then we have to look at the evidence and the research." He further argued that games have many redeeming qualities and made a loose and open-ended commitment to funding research on the issue.
Dozens of studies and experts have released statistics and spoken about the severity of the issue of addiction, with a defined focus on online multiplayer games such as World of Warcraft and StarCraft II. Payne’s lip service to the problem may be a step in the right direction, but is it enough? Should the games industry step up and address addiction more seriously?
Even Xeroxed procedural cop shows are sounding off - we hope a bit more research will help pop-culture avoid nonsense like this (though it is hilarious to watch!):
Oct 4, 2010