Video Game Addiction Could Be on the Diseases List of World Health Organisation

Angry Gamer game addiction
Source: YouTube

World Health Organisation (WHO) has just drafted definitions of “game disorder” and “hazardous gaming”.

From a report by PC Games Insider, those definitions have been added to WHO’s beta of International Compendium of Diseases revision and are going to be rolled out not before late 2018.

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The two added diseases are game disorder and hazardous gaming. These mental diseases are closely connected to video game addiction that has negative impacts on an individual’s life and people around that individual. It is also connected to aggression and violence, physical and/or verbal while doing gaming activity.

Game disorder definition, form the WHO’s draft, is as follows:

“Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline, manifested by:

1) impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context)

2) increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and

3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

The behavior pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The pattern of gaming behavior may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.”


Meanwhile, this is hazardous gaming‘s definition:

“Hazardous gaming refers to a pattern of gaming, either online or offline that appreciably increases the risk of harmful physical or mental health consequences to the individual or to others around this individual. The increased risk may be from the frequency of gaming, from the amount of time spent on these activities, from the neglect of other activities and priorities, from risky behaviours associated with gaming or its context, from the adverse consequences of gaming, or from the combination of these. The pattern of gaming is often persisted in spite of awareness of increased risk of harm to the individual or to others.”

We don’t know yet what kind of effect these definitions make if they are going to make it into the final draft. They might pass or they might not. But anyway, if this can help people who really have the gaming addiction, then it’s not a bad thing to have it drafted. It might also help the governments to regulate “predatory” gameplay or monetization schemes that are dangerous to children.

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Edited by Devi