Published: Wed, December 27, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

'Hazardous' gaming habits could soon be labeled as health problem

In the beta draft of the WHO's forthcoming 11 update of International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), due out in 2018, gaming disorder is presently included as an affliction.

The upcoming ICD, in its 11th update, will allow doctors and healthcare workers, as well as researchers and policymakers, to classify gaming addiction as a mental health condition.

In what must be portrayed as a noteworthy issue, the World Health Organization has recognized a new kind of mental health condition.

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

The description says that the addiction may manifest by impaired control over gaming onset, frequency, intensity, duration or context, increasing priority giving to gaming so much so that it takes precedence of over aspects of daily life, and continuing or escalating gameplay despite negative consequences.

The health officials are adding this new addition of video games as a disorder to help clinicians to determine if someone's gaming habits are an addiction and may need treatment. The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent.

The draft said addictive gamers can be diagnosed if it is severe enough to "result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning".

Video games, which entered our lives in the 80s, have been monitored by the WHO for nearly a decade and the organization has decided that people who play video games excessively might have a mental problem. Video games can improve hand-eye coordination, enhancing problem solving abilities, relieving stress, as well as connecting with people.

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