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WHO wants to make 'gaming disorder' official

Forums - Gaming Discussion - WHO wants to make 'gaming disorder' official

It also includes 'hazardous gaming'.
The World Health Organization has laid the groundwork for doctors to treat gaming addiction as a disease. The group yesterday announced that its 11th International Classification of Diseases has been finalized and includes the addition of gaming to its section on addictive disorders.

The WHO released a draft of the ICD-11 including the gaming disorder diagnosis months ago. Despite some pushback and criticism--the Entertainment Software Association said the move "recklessly trivializes real mental health issues like depression and social anxiety disorder"--the gaming disorder entry remains in the ICD-11.

The ICD-11 says a gaming disorder is marked by a pattern of gaming where the player loses control over how, when, or how long they play, where they prioritize gaming over other interests and daily activities, and where they continue to game despite negative consequences.

The proposal to include 'gaming disorder' in ICD-11 was first made in January of this year, but has now been included in the latest draft which is currently in open consultation before the WHO General Assembly formally approves the list in May 2019.

The ICD-11 also includes a 'hazardous gaming' entry, which describes a pattern that "increases the risk of harmful physical or mental health consequences to the individual or to others around this individual.
An international coalition of trade bodies has warned that the World Health Organisation's decision to include 'gaming disorder' in the 11th International Compendium of Diseases will have serious implications for the games industry.

Arguing that the inclusion "will create moral panic and may lead to abuse of diagnosis", the coalition urged the WHO to reconsider "mounting evidence" against its decision.

The statement, issued from the European Games Developer Federation, has been backed by Entertainment Software Association of Canada, the Brazilian Union of Video and Games, Interactive Entertainment South Africa, Interactive Games & Entertainment Association, Interactive Software Federation of Europe, Korea Association of Game Industry, and the Entertainment Software Association.

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


My Total Sales prediction for PS4 by the end of 2021: 110m+

When PS4 will hit 100m consoles sold: Before Christmas 2019

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I'll stop once I get my shiny KOS-MOS in Xenoblade 2, I promise, mom.



Can't wait to see parents misinterpreting their childs behavior when it comes to video game as a disorder just because their annoyed by seeing them enjoying a pass-time :P
If it were to my mother's judgement, my little bro would probably be diagnosed as such,lol.



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Mar1217 said:
Can't wait to see parents misinterpreting their childs behavior when it comes to video game as a disorder just because their annoyed by seeing them enjoying a pass-time :P
If it were to my mother's judgement, my little bro would probably be diagnosed as such,lol.

In both my own and my mothers opinions, my little brother (at 10 years old) spends an unhealthily large amount of time gaming. Case in point - two minutes ago, he asked me if he could play a few matches of Fortnite on my PS4. I said no, but lo and behold, a minute later he has turned on my PS4 and started a match. Excessive gaming (both my own and my little brother's) has been the source of a tremendous amount of conflict in my family. The fact that a diagnosis can be misused is not a good argument against said diagnosis' existence.

If it weren't for us imposing restrictions on how much time he gets to spend gaming, he probably would barely do anything else, and I know for a fact that is basically the case for many of his friends that don't have as many restrictions on gaming.



I can see alot of parents misdiagnosing their kids with this, lol. When I was a teen my parents used to say I was addicted to games, but it actually wasn't true, I can go through spells where I just don't feel like playing any games at all, sometimes for weeks at a time. I personally wouldn't classify wanting to play a brand new game for several hours straight as gaming addiction, in my experience most gamers want to do a long gaming session when a brand new game they were highly anticipating releases, there is only a problem if you can't put it down after that initial high anticipation period starts to wear off imo. These kids that come home and play Fortnite from 4 PM to bedtime almost every day after school, now that is addiction for sure.



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Younger me would call this ridiculous and/or an outrage. I'm not a mental health professional by any stretch so I'm not prepared to make a rigorous argument, but people have literally died in extended gaming sessions so it doesn't seem to me to be coming out of nowhere. However it's probably likely that such habitual reliance on games is indicative of problems elsewhere in life. I don't think games are inherently the issue here, just what people come to rely on to deal with their actual issues. Or at least that seems more likely to me. I disagree with ESA's statement though, I don't see how it trivializes either of those things, seems more to me like it seeks to widen what are considered signs of distress.



This is good news, this is a growing problem, especially among introverted kids and/or kids with neuropsychiatric disorders (high functioning autism most of all). Issues such as these are being drowned out in the sea of troubled kids who have much more palpable behavioral issues that result in outbursts and deviant episodes with threats, violence or self-harming tendencies. A significant amount of the kids I work with could easily be classified as having mild-to severe gaming addiction, but funds, understanding and realistic treatment platforms have been hard to come by as long as this wasn't a diagnosis in its own right. I intend to specialize in gaming addiction, partly due to it being a growing concern and partly due to a massive lack of competence and understanding on the subject.

It doesn't make matters any easier considering that the industry is actively pursuing gamers with risks of falling into addiction with their business models and overall design of games and gaming in modern times. This is fantastic news, and just because some parents will falsely assume that their child is suffering from this, doesn't mean it's silly or not worthwhile. This is a godsend for those of us who work with kids like this on a daily basis.



End of 2016 hardware sales:

Wii U: 15 million. PS4: 54 million. One: 30 million. 3DS: 64.8 million. PSVita: 15.2 million.

I think phone/tablet/social media is a bigger addiction that many kids and adults are hooked on and is more dangerous than video games.