Video game addiction is now officially recognised as an illness

21 June, 2018, 03:26 | Author: Kara Nash
  • WHO declares compulsive video gaming a mental disorder

And, of course, the potential impact greatly differs from person to person and game to game.

From playing "Fortnite" in their own homes for hours, to wandering city streets collecting Pokemon on their phones - many people are obsessed with video games.

In its new draft on the International Classification of Diseases manual released yesterday, the World Health Organization has now classified excessive compulsive gaming as a disorder.

Despite some pushback from various places, including the Entertainment Software Association, the WHO Has nonetheless chose to go ahead and keep the disorder in its finalized classifications.

"We think it (the re-categorisation) will reduce stigma so that it may help better social acceptance for these individuals", Lale Say, the coordinator of WHO's department of reproductive health and research, told AFP. At the same time, there's been a push and growing interest in things such as e-sports at universities and The Olympics - and grade schools have been looking at video games as a way to teach science, technology, engineering, and math.

Simply playing a lot of video games does not automatically mean that someone has a problem.

The World Health Organization now classifies "gaming disorder" as a mental health condition.

"Every day they get a chance to play they come home from work, you know, they relax for a little bit, eat dinner, and then they're on their video games", Smith said. Finally, gaming continues - or escalates - despite leading to negative consequences.

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Lubna Alansari, WHO's Assistant Director-General talked about the ICD saying, "It is a cornerstone of health information and ICD-11 will deliver an up-to-date view of the patterns of disease".

The ICD is also used by health insurers, whose reimbursements depend on its classifications. A version called internet gaming disorder first appeared in the DSM-5.

The ICD 11 also introduced the related condition of Hazardous gaming.

"Experts worldwide are urging caution regarding the World Health Organization's proposed "gaming disorder" as it may lead to misdiagnosis of real mental health conditions", The Entertainment Software Association, which represents many gaming companies, argued in a statement today. Previous editions had categorised sexual dysfunction and gender incongruence, for example, under mental health conditions.

The updated ICD will be presented to WHO member states at their annual World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption in January 2022, WHO said.



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