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World Health Organization To Classify Gaming Addiction As A Mental Health Disorder


In the Beta Draft for its next International Classification of Diseases (via CNN), the organization listed "Gaming Disorder" alongside its gambling counterpart and a number of other addictions. "Gaming, in general for me, it's something you have fun, you know, play all sorts of games like Pokémon". Nonetheless, the recent proposals around gaming disorder from respected bodies such as the World Health Organization and the American Psychiatric Association seem to lock much of the applied research into a confirmatory trajectory.

"The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent".

BINGING on video games will be classified as signs of a mental disorder for the first time next year. The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.

This does not mean that gaming disorder is a done deal: The caveats note that the draft is not final, is updated on a daily basis, and is not yet approved by WHO.


"The WHO move reflects growing awareness about this disorder - among health professionals, parents and teachers", said Manoj Sharma, associate professor of clinical psychology at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (Nimhans), Bangalore.

After the WHO released the draft version of the ICD, many took to Twitter criticizing the decision to link playing a lot of video games to a mental health problem.

Video games have their place, but Prince limits them because she wants her boys to be active. Doctors are advised to look for telltale signs like social isolation, appetite loss, antisocial behavior and withdrawal symptoms.

Gaming has grown into a $100 billion global industry, with almost half of the revenue coming from mobile games.

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