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Videogaming not addictive... for now, doctors say

Five years' research needed to be sure

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Think you're addicted to computer games? Think again, US addiction specialists have said. More research is needed before they will classify excessive gaming as a mental illness, the American Medical Association (AMA) was told this weekend.

The judgement follows a proposal that the playing of computer games for long periods of time be added to US doctors' bible of mind illnesses, the American Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, Reuters reports.

But at the annual AMA congress, the proposers suggested the issue be investigated over the next five years with a view to subsequently decided whether it be included in the 2012 edition of the Manual.

Some doctors claimed excessive gaming was indeed akin to alcohol, drug and other addictions in that the sufferers find themselves unable to stop playing and deny that that's the case. Others rejected that claim, stating playing games for long periods is nothing like substance abuse.

And while it's fair to point out that the more time spent playing games, the less time there is for other activities, at what point does that become a problem for the player and for wider society?

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