January 20, 2018

World Health Organization Lists Two Gaming-Related Health Disorders

05 January 2018, 01:30 | Rodolfo Wallace

World Health Organization Lists Two Gaming-Related Health Disorders

Gaming addiction is now an official 'disorder', so go cold turkey right now

Part of the WHO's first major update to the Compendium since 1992, gaming disorder is listed as an addictive behaviour alongside gambling, while hazardous gaming is a pattern of gaming behaviour "that appreciably increases the risk of harmful physical or mental health".

Its 11th International Classification of Diseases (ICD) will include the condition "gaming disorder".

'Gaming disorder" is now listed next to "gambling disorder" under "disorders due to addictive behaviours", and the criteria for diagnosis include "impaired control over gaming", piorritising gaming "over other life interests and daily activities", and "continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences'. "I don't think that the WHO's proposal is reflecting a real consensus in the field", said Ferguson, pointing to an among scholars.

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The research - looking at children aged eight to 18 - found that boys spent longer playing video games than girls. "That's 3 million today taking serious damage to their lives because of the way they play", Gentile said. While some people can drink most of the time with no problems, others can drink rarely, yet do so in a way that causes a lot of damage. Having captivated gamers for more than four decades, more than two billion people around the world enjoy video games. If it is just a symptom, then treating gaming disorder "really could do damage" in that it distracts doctors from the real underlying problem, said Ferguson. And those new ones start to make the original one worse and it all becomes a "jumbled mess".

He said he sees about 50 new cases of digital addiction each year and his criteria is based on whether the activity is affecting basic things such as sleep, eating, socialising and education. But Ferguson argued that, if it is a disorder, it seems to be very rare.

It said consumers of video games in South Africa are increasingly diverse.

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