Health Care

The WHO officially puts gaming on its list of addictions

The WHO officially puts gaming on its list of addictions”

If your child gets sucked into a game for a few days, but goes back to normal after that, they wouldn't qualify: Instead, people must engage in this behavior for at least 12 months, World Health Organization says.

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 past year, it includes the addition of gaming to its section of addictive disorders.

The ICD defines gaming disorder as a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour, which may be online, or offline.

In recent times, a number of games are free to download, which undoubtedly contributes to the gaming culture.

Fortnite: Battle Royale, which is one of the most played video games of the year, is played by millions of people worldwide every day, and was completely free for gamers to download. Separate from addiction, this refers to a pattern of gaming that "increases the risk of harmful physical or mental health consequences for the individual or others around this individual".

Following on from an exciting week of new video game releases at E3 in Los Angeles, the subject of game addiction has become a recurring one.

The WHO said that if gaming takes precedence over daily activities and life interests, then it can be classed as gaming disorder.

The World Health Organization (WHO) just announced Monday that it will no longer be classifying gender incongruence as a mental disorder.

The disorder was named in a draft of the upcoming International Classification of Diseases (ICD).

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.

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.

He concluded: "We have not crossed all our "ts" and dotted all our "is" with regard to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of gaming addictions".

It's hard to know how many people actually fit the criteria for gaming disorder.

There's no question that games can offer therapeutic benefits, but equally, few would dispute that they can also lead to an unhealthy level of addiction.

A 2013 statement from the group said it's "a condition warranting more clinical research and experience before it might be considered for inclusion" in its manual.

The ICD is used by medical practitioners around the world to diagnose conditions and by researchers to categorize conditions.

"It enables us to understand so much about what makes people get sick and die, and to take action to prevent suffering and save lives", WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.

There's another related condition that's new to ICD-11: Hazardous gaming.

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