Dangerous Games

Hat Tip to Joe L for this latest piece of insanity:

The World Health Organization is adding an unexpected disorder to its list of mental health conditions in 2018. Next year, people who play an excessive amount of video games could find themselves diagnosed with “gaming disorder.”

WHO’s beta draft of its upcoming 11th update of International Classification of Diseasescharacterizes gaming disorder as “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline, manifested by: 1) impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context); 2) increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and 3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”

The inclusion of gaming disorder in the ICD-11 means health care workers and doctors can now diagnose someone with the condition.

The description of the condition continues: “The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.”

Where to begin?

I think this report provides the best reason I’ve yet see to just close down the World Health Organisation. It’s full of crazy people. And they’re all just killjoys. It no longer has anything much to do with health. I’m beginning to wonder if it ever did.

At least with tobacco the health threat was something real: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer. You do know that don’t you? Everybody knows that. And lung cancer is a disease that kills people pretty rapidly. It’s not surprising that some people are absolutely terrified of it. So what’s the health threat associated with Gaming Disorder? It’s…

“significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”

Seeing that list, I couldn’t help noticing that smoking bans cause “significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or AND other important areas of functioning.” But let’s leave smoking bans aside for now. The article offers a helpful clarification:

When you stop controlling the game and it starts controlling you — that’s when WHO’s definition of gaming disorder applies.

How do you know when you’ve stopped controlling the game, and it’s started controlling you? Answer: there’s no way of knowing, because that isn’t really what happens.

I suppose what they’re thinking of is someone who plays video games from dawn to dusk, to the complete neglect of everything else. Maybe there are people like that. I can’t say that I’ve ever encountered any.

But I suspect that they’re actually thinking of someone who plays video games for a few hours every day, when they could have been (perhaps should have been) doing something else. But how many hours of video gaming does it take before it becomes a “disorder”?

It’s like alcohol. Most people think of an alcoholic as someone who drinks from dawn to dusk. But for the medics in the WHO, an alcoholic is someone who just has one glass of wine (or whatever exceeds the threshold number of “units” of alcohol). For them drinking any alcohol at all is drinking too much. Just like one cigarette is one cigarette too many. And the same is probably true of video games: most likely they think that playing any video games at all is playing them too often.

And if people playing video games “exhibit pathological patterns of play,” then what about someone who spends a lot of time watching TV, or reading books, or solving crossword puzzles, or playing chess or pool or bridge? Is that any different?

Everyone, I suppose, has had the experience of reading a thriller or whodunnit and being totally immersed in it, unable to put it down. What’s to stop these bastards in the WHO diagnosing Reading Disorder if somebody stays immersed in a book for days on end? Nothing, as far as I can see. Coming soon after Gaming Disorder is Reading Disorder, TV disorder, Crossword Disorder, Chess Disorder.

How about Mountaineering Disorder? Some people go off for weeks – months even – climbing mountains. Or Sailing Disorder? Some people sail around the world. They spend their whole lives in boats.

Is there any activity at all that could not be classified as a disorder is someone engages in it for long enough? Isn’t a stockbroker somebody who spends far too much time stockbroking? And a musician someone who spend far too much time playing musical instruments? And a computer programmer someone who spend far too much time programming computers?

To the diseased minds in the WHO, they are indeed new, hitherto-unrecognised diseases or disorders. And there are countless numbers of them. These medics in the WHO are poisoning the world by discovering innumerable new diseases, which need to first be named – e.g. “Gaming Disorder” -, and then treated, most likely with pharmaceutical drugs. Things that nobody ever used to think of as diseases – like smoking – are now classified as epidemics, to be fought with the same determination as cholera or typhoid or malaria. For once these classical communicable diseases could be prevented or cured, the medics in the WHO just invented imaginary new ones to take their place.

Oddly enough I do think that there are real dangers attached to playing some video games. But the dangers don’t lie in simply spending too long playing them to the neglect of other activities. A personal story, which I’ve told many times:

Some 30 or so years ago I used to regularly play a video game called F1 Grand Prix, in which the player was a driver in a racing car, and competing with other racing cars. I gradually got better and better at playing it. And the trick of playing was to brake very hard when you arrived at a corner, and then put the wheel hard over to go round the corner, and then put your foot down on the accelerator (“pedal to the metal”).

One afternoon, after I’d been playing it pretty much all day, I remember that I needed to do a bit of shopping. And so headed out to my little Mini parked outside, started it up, and headed for a shop that was about a mile away. Almost immediately I started driving I noticed something was wrong. I simply wasn’t driving the car in the smooth, easy, relaxed way that I usually did. I got to the shop OK, and bought what I needed, and headed back home. But on the way back, my driving was getting worse and worse. And I was driving faster and faster.

The first mishap occurred as I came into a roundabout, and turned far too sharply to go round it. The car mounted the kerb in the central island, and rolled over the grass, before dropping off the kerb back onto the road.

By now I was getting seriously worried. What the heck was happening? What was I going to do next? Would I make it the few hundred yards back to my home?

I almost didn’t. Coming into a tight corner with traffic lights on it, I braked hard, and actually spun the car. I ended up facing back the way I’d been coming.

Fortunately the roads were pretty empty. Nobody saw me drive across the roundabout. And nobody saw me spin the car a few hundred yards further on either. The roads were perfectly dry on that summer day. And I hadn’t drunk a single drop of alcohol.

Once I got home I soon worked out what had happened. To drive the F1 racing car, I’d had to reprogramme the way I drove. And so when I got in my little Mini, I’d carried on driving it in my newly reprogrammed F1 manner. I’d mounted the central reservation of the roundabout because I had, in F1 style, put the wheel over too sharply. And I’d spun the car because I’d once again put the wheel over too sharply, and braked very hard, F1 style, at the same time.  That’s how you spin cars.

The reprogramming fairly soon wore off. Next day I was driving normally again. And I resolved never to climb into a real car shortly after driving an imaginary one. But by then I’d got so good at playing F1 Grand Prix that I could overtake every other car in the field inside 3 laps, and the game had ceased to be challenging, and there was no longer any point in playing it. – which is usually when people stop playing them.

Oddly enough, this might be an example of where you stop controlling a game, and it starts controlling (reprogramming) you.

About Frank Davis

smoker
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Dangerous Games

  1. RdM says:

    Yeah. Compulsive blogging (and commenting on blogs) (and forums) will be next.
    I’m off for some compulsive sleep now, after a compulsive late dinner…
    Just caught this in the nick of time! Nearly midnight here.

    I haven’t been able to control my dreaming, either… sometimes on, sometimes off!

  2. C. F. Apollyon says:


    Wouldn’t a quick look at the fashion industry give some indication as to perhaps why some of this governmental social modeling doesn’t work? (pun not intended, but…meh)

    The fashion industry changes constantly. It embraces change. Thrives on change. It works because of change. All of this change seems to come while simultaneously fearing change, changes and changing. The fashion industry hangs onto it’s past from the present, while embracing this unknown future. Pyramids. That’s all I can think of. Top down.

    There may be only one “Great Pyramid” at Giza in Egypt. But it’s not the only pyramid at Giza. Maybe there is something to be said there about “top down” types of thinking. I mean, the pyramids were most likely built from the bottom up, and there were streams of different people that participated in their construction…from the lowest of the low, to the highest of the high. Granted, there are some theories out there that the pyramids were built by aliens in a single day…but even thinking in lines like that raises a question…
    Q: Which day?
    A: ?¿?
    There are many days on this planet of ours. On which day did these aliens build these pyramids? Is it possible they assembled these pyramids, then dissasembled them, then reassembled them?

    Craziness aside, there are multiple pyramids, but there is only one Giza Plateau. That said, there are many ancient building sites in Egypt. There’s only one Egypt…but not really. There’s Cleopatra & Marc Antony’s Egypt, there’s Anwar Sadat’s Egypt, there’s Ramses II’s Egypt, there’s Cecil B. DeMille’s Egypt…all kinds of Egypts. What changed, and where, according to whom?

    BTW, it appears there were a fuckton of Pharaohs.
    List of Pharaohs – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pharaohs
    Musta been some changes here and there that necessitated multiple Pharaohs.

    I was under the impression that we live in the now. It is also my understanding that leaders and leadership positions are designed specifically to serve those in the now, and no one else. If leaders are not serving those in the now, who are they serving? If they are serving themselves and their own interests, can we make a “top down” type of assumption that everyone everywhere is interested in only serving themselves? I guess I am thinking about 1950’s America where, according to predictions of the time, everyone should flying around in jetpacks on Mars and everything should shiny chrome and sparkling clean. I guess the people making these fantastic predictions never took 10 seconds to look under the hood of a car with 10,000 miles on it. If they would have, they’d have seen that the future is a fucking dirty mess for someone else to clean up.

    Redux/reduction appears to work on a stovetop, and only for short periods of time under certain conditions. But someone is eventually gonna eat that glop…right? That’s why we cook? Where’s that redux gonna wind up, and when, and how is it going to wind up, and according to whom? I doubt that sewage workers appreciate our stovetop cooking in the same way(s) that we doo. ;-)

    Sounds like pyramids in motion to me…but that’s just me.

    ^Capital Cities – Safe And Sound (Official Video)^

    BTW, I sure enjoyed talking with ya’ll the other night. :-)

  3. Vlad says:

    ##These medics in the WHO are poisoning the world by discovering innumerable new diseases, which need to first be named – e.g. “Gaming Disorder” -, and then treated, most likely with pharmaceutical drugs. Things that nobody ever used to think of as diseases – like smoking – are now classified as epidemics, to be fought with the same determination as cholera or typhoid or malaria.##

    You hit the nail on the head. What’s particularly egregious in this instance is that with this new ‘disease’ they’ll mostly target teenagers and young people in general, messing up their minds with the drugs and potentially transforming them in lifelong customers of the sickness industry.

    • beobrigitte says:

      <i.Things that nobody ever used to think of as diseases – like smoking – are now classified as epidemics, to be fought with the same determination as cholera or typhoid or malaria.
      Actually, Typhus and Malaria are still around And so is Ebola and the Bubonic Plague.

      We all are just paying for the WHO justifying it’s existence. And new Mercedes and houses and pensions for them.

  4. Smoking Lamp says:

    The WHO and its minions are the ones with a disorder: a pathological need to control others and impose their will while persecuting those with different views. Perhaps it’s ‘totalitarian healthiest control disorder”? These pathological abusers need to be recognized for the scourge they are. Tobacco control must be destroyed.

  5. Marvin says:

    That F1 Grand Prix game was fantastic, we had the lot at “work”, 21 inch VGA monitor, steering wheel, pedals, sound, the lot. Like you I got better and better at it, so much so, I went round Monaco half a second faster than Michael Schumacher!!! Mind you, I’d killed myself about twenty times before that!!!

    Nowadays I have a flight simulator, which is very good, but I can never find the bloody runway again once I’ve gotten airborn and end up running out of fuel and crashing it, oh well, section me now.

  6. Lepercolonist says:

    How about a flu vaccine that is effective for 2018 ?

  7. Rose says:

    An interesting article in the Washington Post which has been picked up and posted in several other papers.

    We don’t need the government to tell us smoking kills
    December 27 2017

    “The strange, meandering path of tobacco — a legal commodity that is harmful when used as intended — to the present began in contradictions. They are crowned by this one: Many state governments are addicted to revenue from tobacco taxes. The federal tax on a pack is $1.01. The lowest state tax is Missouri’s 17 cents; the highest, Connecticut and New York’s $4.35; the average, $1.72. So, many governments have huge stakes in a steady supply of new smokers to replace those smoking kills.

    Hence these governments cannot afford for their anti-smoking efforts to be too successful.”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/we-dont-need-the-government-to-tell-us-smoking-kills/2017/12/27/f54ad64a-ea52-11e7-b698-91d4e35920a3_story.html?utm_term=.b67731ce8e19

    From New Zealand

    Tax burden unfair on smokers
    December 28 2017

    What about the health costs?

    “A common belief is that the tobacco tax is there to cover the public health costs associated with smoking, including passive smoking.

    First off, the idea that smokers should be expected to meet these costs is highly questionable. We don’t expect people who are overweight or have bad diets to pay extra towards their health costs. Our public health system simply doesn’t work that way, and nor should it.

    However, even if we accept the idea that smokers should pay for health costs, it started to become clear 10 years ago that we were already past that point. A 2007 study commissioned by tobacco control groups concluded:
    “It appears likely that smokers contribute considerably more in taxes than the net ‘economic costs’ to the rest of the community caused by their smoking.”

    Five years later in 2012, Treasury also acknowledged that the tax revenue was probably higher than the direct health system costs of smoking. Treasury’s advice noted that smokers also receive less superannuation and aged care, reducing costs in these areas.

    Taking these savings into account means that smokers have been paying their own way, and more, for years.

    Since Treasury gave that advice in 2012, the excise rate has gone up from 44 cents per cigarette to 83 cents per cigarette, with GST imposed on top of that.”
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/100188998/.html

    Previously

    Medications alone don’t help smokers quit, study finds
    December 21, 2017

    “Pharmaceutical interventions are routinely prescribed to help people quit smoking. However, a new study by University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers suggests that, despite promising results in clinical trials, smoking cessation drugs alone may not be improving the chances of successful quitting among smokers in general.”

    “Thirty four percent of people who are trying to quit smoking use pharmaceutical aids and yet most are not successful,” said senior study author John P. Pierce, PhD, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center. “The results of randomized trials that tested these interventional drugs showed the promise of doubling cessation rates, but that has not translated into the real world.”
    https: //medicalxpress.com/news/2017-12-medications-dont-smokers.html

    And they won’t until they offer the correct substitute, which they can’t because low dose chewable niacin tablets would destroy anti-tobacco dogma, niacin can’t be patented and therefore makes no money for the drug companies and when the truth came out would show the governments who insist on taxing smokers into poverty “for their own good” in a very bad light.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Priceless!!!
      So the way to extinguish smoking is not by belaboring the health issue (smoking is the leading preventable cause of death, it has killed many more than all of America’s war deaths, etc.) but with the sort of broadcast ads California used years ago to cut smoking 17 percent: “I tried it once and I, ah, got all red in the face and I couldn’t inhale and I felt like a jerk and, ah, never tried it again, which is the same as what happened to me with sex.”
      A celery stick for the anti-smokers. Instead.

  8. beobrigitte says:

    Got to give it to the (in my view useless) WHO club. They have lost their minds!!
    The description of the condition continues: “The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.”
    I do recall getting into “Dungeon Keeper”….. Sure, I didn’t run up a massive phone bill gabbing to friends anymore and at the time it was a good thing for me.
    That reminds me, anybody up for a game of “Worms”? I beat the sh*ts out of kids online who never realized they were battered by an “oldie”. And, before someone asks, yes, I got totally battered by some masters of this game. Failure is part of life. Deal with it.

    WHO’s beta draft of its upcoming 11th update of International Classification of Diseasescharacterizes gaming disorder as “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline, manifested by: 1) impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context); 2) increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and 3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”
    WHAT NEGATIVE consequences? I need an explanation. No detail spared!

    It is high time we get rid of this WHO club. It spends too much time ignoring/bagatellizing REAL threats (e.g. Ebola, plague) whilst being wined and dined on caviar and champagne to decide SECRETLY what to do next to smokers and vapers.

  9. DP says:

    Dear Mr Davis

    “significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”

    Sounds more like puberty.

    Perhaps the WHO would like to ban that, or treat it with pills.

    On the other hand, the WHO is becoming more like a disease upon society in its own right.

    DP

No need to log in

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.