Medicine

Excessive Video Gaming to be Named Mental Disorder by WHO

Excessive Video Gaming to be Named Mental Disorder by WHO

"I don't think people should always just jump to the conclusion because someone likes to play video games", Jones says.

In 2015, a 17-year-old Russian boy was rushed to hospital and died after falling into a coma while playing video games nearly continuously for 22 days, only stopping to sleep and eat. For nearly 30 years people's lifestyles have changed and that includes the growth of gaming in most people's lives. This applies whether it may be offline or online, on PC, consoles or mobile. "Impaired control" is the key phrase in this definition, with the apparent disorder leading gaming to "take precedence" over basically every other aspect of the addict's life.

"Disorders due to addictive behaviors are recognizable and clinically significant syndromes associated with distress or interference with personal functions that develop as a result of repetitive rewarding behaviors other than the use of dependence-producing substances", the gaming-relevant section states. For that to occur, gaming behavior should normally be evident over the course of a year, but that duration can be shortened "if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe".

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"Inclusion of a disorder in ICD 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", he said.

"In light of continuing controversies, it is argued that the now proposed categories of video game addiction disorders are premature".

However, it's worth considering that in the modern video game industry, publishers and developers put huge amounts of money and effort into keeping players hooked and handing over their hard-earned cash; it perhaps shouldn't come as a surprise that this sometimes leads to damaging patterns of behavior. ICD as it's called, is the basis for identification of health trends and is used by medical practitioners around the world to diagnose and categorize conditions. Additionally, addiction can sometimes be a symptom of a deeper-rooted problem such as depression. Dr. Chris Ferguson told Kotaku that while "myths" about the similarities between gaming and substance abuse persist, they are true "only insofar as any pleasurable activity activates these regions [of the brain]".


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