'Gaming Disorder' Now Officialy Recognized as a Mental illness

Gaming Addiction Is Now An Official Mental Health Disorder

They continue on to assure the masses that playing video games for hours on end doesn't necessarily mean you have the disorder, the situation must be much more serious than binge gaming.

The ICD defines gaming disorder as an "impaired control", meaning that increasing priority is given to gaming. 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 wording of the new entries has been known since January, when the World Health Organization announced problem gaming would be recognised as a pathological condition.

Studies suggest that gaming disorder affects only a small proportion of people who engage in digital- or video-gaming activities. The agency and other experts were quick to note that cases of the condition are still very rare, with no more than up to 3 per cent of all gamers believed to be affected. The evidence for its inclusion remains highly contested and inconclusive. The WHO must first endorse the final version during a board meeting and World Health Assembly next year, with member states expected to start using ICD-11 on January 1, 2022. The 11th edition of ICD covers 55,000 injuries, diseases and causes of death.

The classification is aimed at alerting health professionals and systems to the existence of this condition and ensuring that people suffering from these conditions can get appropriate help.

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The games industry raked in $108 billion dollars worldwide in 2017, more than double movie box-office receipts, according to Superdata, which tracks the games and interactive media sector.

WHO said classifying "gaming disorder" as a separate addiction will help governments, families and health care workers be more vigilant and prepared to identify the risks.

For a diagnosis, the behavior pattern should last at least 12 months, though the World Health Organization is proposing exceptions in severe cases.

"However, people who partake in gaming should be alert to the amount of time they spend on gaming activities, particularly when it is to the exclusion of other daily activities, as well as to any changes in their physical or psychological health and social functioning that could be attributed to their pattern of gaming behavior", the WHO said in a statement. A group of over 30 social scientists and mental health researchers plan to co-sign an article in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Behavior Addiction arguing against the inclusion, too, Gamasutra pointed out.

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