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Gaming disorder to be named mental condition

27 December 2017

There's no denying that as the gaming industry continues to grow, so does the controversy surrounding whether or not games are risky for your health. To acknowledge this state of fact, the World Health Organisation has recognized a new type of mental health condition, calling it "gaming disorder" (via Digital Trends).

The classification is part of a World Health Organization document that's been under review for years and could be released next year.

The consideration was revealed in a draft of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which is not yet finalized but could recognize gaming as a disorder if it causes addictive behavior. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is made by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), presently can't seem to perceive gaming as an official condition.

The draft now lists a variety of behaviours that clinicians could use to determine if a person's gaming has become a serious health condition.

The disorder is not characterized by playing a video game here or there, but rather by lack of ability to control when one games, "increasing priority give to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities", and continuing to game avidly despite having negative consequences for doing so. The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent.

Gaming disorder or addictive behavior could be diagnosed for kids whose school performance is affected or for adults if their gaming addiction leads to losing spouses or jobs. Depending on the game, how often, how long, and where you play it, video games can have positive effects as well.

However, researchers also have pointed out the benefits of gaming, which include relieving stress and improving hand-eye coordination.

What do you think about this issue?