Video Game Addiction is Real Disease

Modesto Morganelli
Giugno 19, 2018

Smartphone, social media, and even gaming de-addiction facilities have always been set-up at institutions throughout the country, with many parents bringing in their children to be treated for addiction to gadgets.

According to World Health Organization, there are three major criteria for the diagnosis of gaming disorder: Gaming takes precedence over other activities so much that a person often stops doing other things, a person continues gaming even when it causes issues in their life or they feel that they can't stop, and gaming causes significant distress and impairments in a person's relationships with others, as well as their work or school life.

Still, not all medical officials believe gaming disorder is a stand-alone condition.

"They're prioritising their gaming above pretty much everything else in their life". The beef between the industry and the World Health Organization over whether gaming disorder is a legitimate complaint will undoubtedly rumble on.

The United Nations health agency defines gaming disorder as a pattern of behavior where a person loses control over how much they play digital games, to the point where they prioritize gaming above other activities. Game addiction however, can result in gamers spending several hours at a time in front of their screens.

WHO has been studying the issue and now has formally classified "gaming disorder" as a mental health condition.

Priority given to gaming, and gaming takes precedence over other interests and activities.

The ICD-11 isn't yet finished, though: The publication won't be endorsed as a final release until 2019, and won't be fully adopted until 2022. The obsessive pattern should be evident through a period of 12 months during which the individual's personal, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning is severely affected because of the activity.

The statement continued: "The evidence for its inclusion remains highly contested and inconclusive". The hallmark of the disorder is that playing games overtakes other desires, and that it continues or escalates despite negative consequences.

The new ICD also includes for the first time a chapter on traditional medicines, used by millions of people around the world. "We are therefore concerned to see "gaming disorder" still contained in the latest version of the WHO's ICD-11 despite significant opposition from the medical and scientific community".

The agency said classifying "Gaming Disorder" as a seperate condition will "serve a public health objective for countries to be better prepared to identify this issue".

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