WHO to list gaming addiction as mental health condition

WHO to list gaming addiction as mental health condition

The World Health Organization will list "Gaming disorder" and "Hazardous gaming" as health disorders in its International Compendium of Diseases. At any rate, the WHO ICD will be revised until its final release later this year.

Now in draft format, the 2018 ICD states that gaming addiction is a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour so severe that it takes precedence over other life interests.

The guide is used by doctors and researchers and advises that "abnormal gaming behaviour" should be shown for 12 months at least "for a diagnosis to be assigned".

The World Health Organization is recognizing gaming as a mental health disorder that can lead to problems down the road as adults.

Its proponents argue that the law protects minors from an environment that is more likely to lead to game addiction, while critics say the law breaches the freedom of choice, unjustly vilifies games as a whole, and brings more losses than gains.

But he added that he would have sympathy for those who do not think the condition should be medicalised.

He said one question he asked himself was: "Is the addiction taking up neurological real-estate, dominating thinking and preoccupation?"

Many psychiatrists refer to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the fifth edition of which was published in 2013.

The ESA, which is the main lobbying firm of the industry, has vehemently slammed the WHO's decision to include gaming disorder as a mental disorder.

While research on the adverse effects of excessive game playing is nebulous, there is certainly anecdotal evidence to suggest that the positive feedback loops of many games can encourage addictive behaviours.

In the case of Korea, the government has placed a law that bans children under the age of 16 from accessing online games between midnight and 6 a.m., though its effectiveness has been challenged. I mean, do you know anyone who's as addicted to games as much as alcohol, drugs and the like?



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