Tuesday, December 26, 2017

WHO Classifying Gaming Addiction for 2018

WHO, the World Health Organization, will be adding some new disorders to their 2018 that are due to addictive behavior. Gambling and video games are on the list. Their 2018 beta draft went public 2 days ago and it's raising some eyebrows.

The classification of a gaming disorder shouldn't scare you. It's meant to help doctors realize that a gaming addiction is a real thing. Most of us won't experience it. Some will. WHO will classify "gaming disorder" as a "pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour" both online and offline. This includes impaired control over gaming, increase gaming frequency that takes precedence over life activities in an unusual amount, and continuing to game despite negative consequences (i.e. you are about to be kicked out of your home for not paying your rent and instead of fixing it, you game).

The classification of ICD-11 means that this can be diagnosed by doctors as a real disorder. Which means it can include treatment procedures and even some insurance companies will have to foot the bill on it.

This isn't meant to demonize games. The intent is to provide help for those who actually need it. Most of us can play video games once a day, once every few days and we're fine. Some people are legitimately addicted to them to the point where they can't function in their day-to-day lives. So this new classification is not meant to demonize games. It's the same as gambling, drinking, playing sports - it's fine in moderation. When you overdo it, that's when trouble can happen.

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