ODESSA (FOX 13) - The World Health Organization announced Monday that some obsessive video gamers may have an actual addiction that could be classified as a mental health disorder. However, some gamers in the Bay Area have turned that "addiction" into a full-time job.
Ben Bowman, or "ProfessorBroman" as he is known online, live streams video games every day.
"This is a chance for me to connect with people who have the same passions as I do," Bowman said.
He's been a full-time streamer since 2013, on some days streaming as much as eight hours every day.
"I’m the sole income-earner in my household. I pay for all of this with streaming,” he said. “Gaming is the largest form of entertainment, period,” he added.
Next month, gaming will take over the Tampa Convention Center. GuardianCon is expected to bring 10,000 people. The event raises money for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
One of the featured guests is the world-famous streamer known as "Ninja."
“He is the biggest sports star on social media if you include e-sports,” according to Bowman.
The rise in popularity of gaming has also lead to addiction, according to experts.
“It opens the door for additional research,” said FOX 13’s Dr. Jo. “It is very similar to any addiction, to any other kind, in fact you look for symptoms of withdrawal."
Others, like the American Psychiatric Association put out a statement disagreeing with the WHO, saying it didn't find enough evidence to consider "excessive gaming" as a "unique disorder."
For some, like Bowman, gaming isn’t about just a good time, it’s a livelihood.