"Video Gaming Disorder" To Be Classified As Actual Disease By World Health Organization

April 27, 2018
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A hobby for some might be an addiction for others, and it turns out it will soon become a certifiable disease.

The World Health Organization announced that "gaming disorder" is included in its newest list of classified diseases for 2018, characterizing it as a "pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior" both offline and online.  

Officially, "gaming disorder" can include any of the following: 

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

3-Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

While some may find the WHO's decision ridiculous, technology addiction specialist Dr. Richard Graham is of the abject opinion.  He told the BBC, "It is significant because it creates the opportunity for more specialized services.  It puts it on the map as something to take seriously."  Though he does worry about "confused parents whose children are just enthusiastic gamers."  

The Entertainment Software Association, however, believes the WHO is making a mockery of actual mental heath issues.  They said in a statement to Gamasutra, "Just like avid sports fans and consumers of all forms of engaging entertainment, gamers are passionate and dedicated with their time.  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."

The WHO's list of International Classification of Diseases has yet to be finalized.

Via Gamespot