Addiction to Video Games was Officially Recognized as a Disease

21 Juin, 2018, 09:40 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Gaming disorder is a mental health condition

The new ICD-11 is set to be presented to the World Health Assembly for adoption by the member states in the month of May 2019 and is scheduled to come in effect on January 1, 2022.

A search on the internet points to a 35-year-old woman who died last year after playing the World of Tanks video game, broadcast on video game streaming service Twitch, for 24 hours. The annual revenue for the entire industry is expected to grow 31 percent to $180 billion within three years or by 2021.

Griffiths said playing video games, for the vast majority of people, is more about entertainment and novelty, citing the overwhelming popularity of games like "Pokemon Go".

The ICD forms a basis for the WHO and other experts to see and respond to trends in health, and is also used by health insurers whose reimbursements depend on the classifications. WHO, however, says people who engage in gaming should be alert about the amount of time they spend on gaming activities.

According to the World Health Organization, the disorder can be either online or offline, and typically evident over a period of twelve months.

The formal designation of "gaming disorder" within WHO's International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) was welcomed by some groups as helpful to sufferers. The draft draws similarities to gambling addictions.

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But does this new classification covers all gamers?

Honestly, "gaming disorder" sounds like a phrase tossed around by irritated parents and significant others.

While treatment for gaming disorder is in its early stages, Saxena says the "message for parents, colleagues, and friends" is to avoid the stigma surrounding the issue and says addicts should be able to seek professional help. 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. Trump wrote in a tweet back in 2012.

We all play games, don't we? More than half of the 50 top-selling games are violent, according to ProCon.org.

Despite what is - admittedly - a pretty even-handed handling of the situation, gaming organisations from around the world have expressed concern at the its inclusion.

Poznyak explains that prevalence of the condition is actually very low, adding that since gaming disorder is a clinical condition, only trained health professionals can offer a diagnosis on it.

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