Health Care

World Health Organisation classifies gaming as addiction

World Health Organisation classifies gaming as addiction

Transgenderism is no longer classified as a mental disorder, according to the World Health Organization - but video game addiction is, according to a new report.

The experts' paper ('A Weak Scientific Basis for Gaming Disorder: Let us err on the side of caution') will appear in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions. "These include gaming disorder, which evidence shows is enough of a health problem that it requires tracking through the ICD".

The symptoms of gaming disorder are quite similar to those seen in substance use and gambling disorders.

To be clear, the medical community isn't exactly rushing in to take everyone's video games away. The games industry, though, disagrees.

Gaming also piques gamers' interest in new hobbies and careers such as history (15 percent), information technology (12 percent) and art (7 percent), while 34 percent cite improved cognition, problem-solving or social skills thanks to gaming.

"Videogames across all kinds of genres, devices and platforms are enjoyed safely and sensibly by more than 2 billion people worldwide, with the educational, therapeutic, and recreational value of games being well-founded and widely recognized".

Since past year, the World Health Organisation has tried to pin down video gaming that has a net negative impact on life as a disorder - but it was originally a bit wishy-washy in what it classed as a disorder.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) will officially be classing addiction to video games as a disorder from today.

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The classification is aimed at alerting health professionals and systems to the existence of this condition and ensuring that people suffering from these conditions can get appropriate help.

Anthony Bean, a licensed psychologist and executive director at the non-profit health clinic The Telos Project, told CNN that labeling gaming disorder as a diagnosable condition was "premature".

Doctors now recognise persistent and compulsive gaming behaviour as a mental health disorder.

Lubna Alansari, WHO's Assistant Director-General talked about the ICD saying, "It is a cornerstone of health information and ICD-11 will deliver an up-to-date view of the patterns of disease".

The updated ICD is scheduled to be presented to WHO member states at their annual World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption in January 2022, WHO said in a statement.

'The gaming prompts a neurological response that influences feelings of pleasure and reward, and the result, in the extreme, is manifested as addictive behavior'. The evidence for its inclusion remains highly contested and inconclusive.

Honestly, "gaming disorder" sounds like a phrase tossed around by irritated parents and significant others.


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