According to the ESA (comprised of various video game interests) the WHO has actually not finalized their ruling of Video Games Addiction as a Mental Illness. Entertainment Software Association member companies currently has its own inner-battles going on due to the recent Lootbox debate where governments are categorizing games containing Lootbox Micro-transactions as Gambling therefore subject to legal regulations.
In a statement made by the ESA as their official reply to a draft created by the World Health Organization classifying gaming addiction as a disease, ESA said this;
“Just like avid sports fans and consumers of all forms of engaging entertainment, gamers are passionate and dedicated with their time. Having captivated gamers for more than four decades, more than 2 billion people around the world enjoy video games.
The World Health Organization knows that common sense and objective research prove video games are not addictive, and, putting that official label on them recklessly trivializes real mental health issues like depression and social anxiety disorder, which deserve treatment and the full attention of the medical community.
We strongly encourage the WHO to reverse direction on its proposed action.”
Sure, the ESA has a lot to say now that the World Health Organization is stepping in, but they can blame themselves for allowing what prompted this to happen-
The Lootbox Gambling Video Game Scandal of 2017.
All of this is hot off the heals of a multi-million dollar scandal costing billions in shareholder displacement as Disney wars with EA Games over their recent Star Wars Gambling fiasco involving investigation from the FTC and prompting legislators to organize. Legal questions begin to arise when titles are using players as funnels for cash in unrealistic systems designed to deceive and betray false sense of secure investment and trust in the art medium of video games.
Meanwhile, what’s left of the original Halo creators at their shell of a company (now owned by Activision and still called Bungie) has seen another high profile sci-fi fantasy online action shooter video game lying to players about the odds of obtaining experience, level ups, and rewards for their time put in. These systems of course, have been designed to be predatory for gamers of all ages in forcing them to pay to proceed in their games of choice rather than just play them.
Even worse, to pay for a “chance” to succeed and gain the items they need, but like a slot machine – there’s no guarantee they’ll win. Odds are not advertised, and behind-the-scenes scam systems have been patented by Activision themselves to deliberately trick players into illusions of gameplay experiences designed to get them paying more.