Published: Tue, June 19, 2018
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Video Game Addiction Classified As A Disorder By World Health Organization

Video Game Addiction Classified As A Disorder By World Health Organization

However, some have questioned whether gaming disorder needs to be recognized as its own condition, and not dealt with as a symptom of mental disorders such as depression or anxiety.

This is huge because WHO's disease manual is the worldwide standard for defining and reporting diseases and health conditions that exist globally.

A major venture for the World Health Organization is creating and maintaining the International Classification of Diseases, which is a grading system that assists in identifying a wide range of signs, symptoms, abnormal findings, and much more.

The WHO defines Gaming Disorder as:"Impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences". The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent.

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Yesterday, the World Health Organization announced that it had finalized its 11th International Classification of Diseases, and much like the draft did in December of previous year, it includes the addition of gaming to its section of addictive disorders. The pattern of gaming is often persists in spite of awareness of increased risk of harm to the individual or to others. In fact, she urinated on herself while sitting down playing the game. Although that may sound intense, so was her video game addiction.

"ICD is a cornerstone of health information and ICD-11 will deliver an up-to-date view of the patterns of disease", said Lubna Alansari, WHO's Assistant Director-General (Health Metrics and Measurement). While there are exceptions for extreme cases, the World Health Organization seems generally cautious here. 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 statement is highly critical, citing contested and inconclusive data and concerns of misdiagnosis.

So-called "shooter games" such as "Fortnite" - described on the support website Game Quitters as the "hottest game in the world" - are either played online or on offline consoles.

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