World Health Organization recognized "Gaming Disorder" as a disease

May 26 2019 2 min read

World Health Organization recognized "Gaming Disorder" as a disease ⚡⚡⚡ Esports and gaming news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!

The news we don't deserve: the World Health Organization (WHO) added "Gaming Disorder" to the list of recognized diseases. A group of 194 members made a decision yesterday at the 72nd World Health Assembly.  WHO representatives agreed to adopt the eleventh revised version of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, which is also known as ICD-11. The deviation is described as follows:

  • Impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context)
  • Increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities
  • Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.

Experts from different disciplines and regions decided to include "Gaming Disorder" back in 2018. It was based on a thorough analysis of the available evidence. ICD-11 will come into force on January 1, 2022.

Game addiction has long been a widely discussed problem among various sections of the population, health care workers, researchers, and politicians. And this question is unlikely to get an unambiguous solution soon.

The opinion of Dr Douglas Gently in his interview for Kotaku in 2017 can be identified as the most objective and independent statement. A psychologist and head of the media research lab at Iowa University reported that:

"We found that gaming precedes the depression if they're damming enough areas of their life where it counts as a disorder. Lots of problematic gamers are diagnosed with other conditions. If a person spends too much time cooped up on their own with any activity, it could stunt their social skills so, when they do go out in public, they're anxious as hell. It can mean being so isolated, gamers lose the ability to cope with life."

Earlier, representatives of the gaming industry opposed the inclusion of gambling in the list of diseases. Associations and federations of entertainment software developers from the USA, Canada, Europe, Brazil and South Africa in a joint statement noted that there isn't enough objective scientific soundness for such a move. At the same time, in their opinion, the games have "educational and therapeutic" functions.

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