Gaming Disorder Is An Illness, Says World Health Organization

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gaming disorder

The World Health Organization on Saturday has officially recognized Gaming Disorder as a disease.

The 72nd World Health Assembly hosted by the World Health Organization took place on May 25TH in which the assembly finally recognized gaming disorder as a disease. The 194-member meeting finalized the Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), adding excessive gaming to the list.

The organization last June added gaming addiction under its section of potentially harmful technology-related behaviors, including too much use of “the internet, computers, smartphones” and more.

At the time of the release of the ICD-11, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, had said “The ICD is a product that WHO is truly proud of. 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.”

‘Gaming disorder’ comes under the disorders due to ‘addictive behavior’ section of the ICD. It’s described as “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior, which may be online or offline, manifested by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”

Characteristics of Gaming Disorder

1) Impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, and context)

2) Increasing priority for the game to the extent that gaming takes precedence over life interests and daily activities.

3) Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of worst consequences.

The diagnosed of the gaming disorder can only be done , if the behavior pattern of the person is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and that too evident for at least of 12 months.

The World Health Organisation has said that the decision to include gaming disorder as a disease is based on reviews of evidence and reflected the consensus of experts from different disciplines. Though the gaming disorder is still unlikely to be universally recognized for some time, as both the medical field and the gaming industry strongly disagree with WHO’s decision.

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