Health Care

World Health Organization officially recognizes "gaming disorder"

World Health Organization officially recognizes

The World Health Organization voted to add gaming disorder to its global classification of diseases over the weekend. The ICD-11, which is to take effect in January 2022, contains several other additions, including classification of "compulsive sexual behaviour" as a mental disorder, although it stops short of lumping the condition together with addictive behaviours.

In the same vein, digital addiction extends beyond video game use to include smartphone and social media, all of which can increase loneliness, anxiety, and depression and can form neurological connections in the brain in a similar way to opioid addiction.

It does, however, for the first time recognize video gaming as an addiction, listing it alongside gambling and drugs like cocaine.

Cameron is Mixmag's Jr.

Shekhar Saxena, the WHO's mental health and substance abuse expert, defended the decision to Reuters. The Video Games Coalition, an industry group representing video game manufacturers, said that video games are "enjoyed safely and sensibly by more than 2 billion people worldwide" and that there is also evidence pointing to the "educational, therapeutic, and recreational value" of video games that the group believes the World Health Organization gave insufficient weight when making their determination.

But some mental health experts are supportive of the classification.

It's not just the ESA that's hitting back at the World Health Organization over this decision.

The organizations decrying the decision include Interactive Games & Entertainment Association, the Interactive Software Federation of Europe, K-GAMES, and representatives across Europe, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, South Africa and Brazil. "The consequences of today's action could be far-reaching, unintended, and to the detriment of those in need of genuine help".

"We encourage and support healthy game play by providing information and tools, such as parental controls, that empower billions of people around the world to manage their play to ensure it remains enjoyable and enriching".

It manifests as a person giving increasing priority to video games over daily activities, continuing to play while knowing it may have negative consequences and having a general inability to control how long they play.

We don't know about any measures that could be recommended by World Health Organization to treat this new disease. It makes sense - more and more mobile games are pushing the envelope in graphics, gameplay, and features.



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