Local experts weigh in after gaming disorder is described as dig - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Local experts weigh in after gaming disorder is described as digital heroin


On Monday the World Health Organization listed 'Gaming Disorder' as a disease. 

The disease is caused from playing too many video games and now it is officially considered a mental health condition.

"There's been a times where I have put in 12 hours at a time," said Gorman Galarowicz the manager of The Gaming Garage in Wausau. 

"Calling it the new heroin is very hyperbolic," Galarowicz said. 

According to the World Health Organization the main factors of gaming disorder are impaired control over gaming and putting gaming as a priority over other social activities.

"Summers are hard because they are home and we cannot monitor as much when we are not home, " said Becky Mroczenski a parent of a 13-year-old son. 

Mroczenski also said her son sometimes plays video games all day even though she tries to set boundaries.

"The X Box is not allowed in the bedroom and there isn't a TV in the bedroom it's outside where we can all be a part of it," Mroczenski said. 

Some experts said comparing gaming to heroin use is a bit too much.

"To compare any types of addiction whether it would be sex, gambling or any of the behavioral addictions to substance abuse I think that could have a negative impact," said Melissa Moore of the Marathon County Health Department. 

However, one Weston psychologist disagrees.

"Humans love dopamine and whether we get that through crack cocain or whether we get that through gaming it's all the same," said Dr. Brian Weiland of the Behavioral Clinic in Weston.

The World Health Organization said the line between casual players and gaming disorders are if you go passed 12 months of showing symptoms then you have crossed into the disease. 

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