'Gaming Disorder' proposed as an addiction by the World Health Organization

Bryan Strickland
December 29, 2017

New in 2018, there is a new disease officially being recognized by The World Health Organization.

The WHO's eleventh global diagnostic manual is due in 2018. The move is a response to a long debate over whether video gaming can be addictive.

Business Insider released an article saying "gaming disorders" could be classified as a mental health condition.

The WHO decision to include gaming disorder in the draft is "a consideration which countries take into account when making decisions on provision of health care and allocation of resources for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation", Jasarevic said. The WHO's definition of gaming disorder could inspire an inaccurate diagnosis when, in fact, gaming could just be a coping mechanism for something already known.

Researchers are still trying to understand the activity's risks and effects, since it has only recently become such a common pastime - 63% of U.S. households contain at least one "frequent gamer", a trait that didn't exist a couple of generations ago.

In short: Video games can be a lot of fun.

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On the positive side, research has shown that game playing can relieve stress, improve problem-solving abilities, and enhance traits like eye-hand coordination.

"It becomes obsessive. People will stop doing life in general". In other words, obsessively playing video games can be addicting as gamers get wrapped up in alternate realities.

A draft of the latest version of the manual, called ICD-11, posted online lists gaming disorder among "disorders due to addictive behaviours".

The UT student makes a social event out of his hobby choosing games that allow for his friends to join in.

Many well-adjusted individuals play video games, and they do not have a mental disorder. That said, "Internet Gaming Disorder" was also proposed for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) in 2013, but was ultimately slated for further study because of a lack of evidence supporting its inclusion.

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