Gaming Disorder: Truth Or Just A Banter ?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has now classified gaming disorder as a mental health condition. WHO defines gaming disorder an addiction to playing video games. Gaming Disorder” was included in the draft of the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) in December 2017 and was published in the final version of the ICD-11 in the month of June.

The WHO has invented or recognized, depending on your perspective, a mental health condition called “video gaming disorder” which specifically identifies video gaming when it becomes an addiction and causes people to abandon other aspects of life to continue engaging in it, not just playing video games in a normal healthy fashion.

Gaming disorder is similar to other addictions, such as gambling addiction or substance abuse. Therefore, this disorder is characterized by the inability to control an obsession with video gaming. As a result, the need to continue the behavior increases over time.

Signs of Gaming Addiction Disorder

To summarize, WHO lists three main criteria for the diagnosis of Gaming Disorder:

  • Inability to control their urge to play video games
  • Gaming becomes more important than any other activity
  • People continue to play video games despite the negative consequences of the behavior on their relationships, academic performance, and/or work.
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Moreover, video gaming disorder may result in disturbed sleep patterns, disrupted eating habits, and a lack of physical activity, according to WHO.

How can gaming be an addiction?

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The WHO (World Health Organization) didn’t say Gaming is now a disorder they said it can become an addiction just like anything else can. Having said that I do not agree with the WHO’s classification. Yes, gaming can become “addicting” and some games have addictive qualities but classify it with a strong word as “disease” is beyond stupid. The “addiction” of playing games can lead you to isolate yourself from society and neglect other things in your life, but again it’s not a disease.

And yes those with social anxiety disorders will move towards to gaming due to its fantasy video games provides but the same can be said about TV, Movies and pretty much any form of entertainment. And generally speaking, some people just lack prioritization skills. Gaming like many other things has the potential to be an addiction. And while not as severe as alcohol or drugs the endorphins released when playing games could lead people who have addictive personalities to an unhealthy lifestyle.

In my view, the amount you play is not an issue as long as you keep a healthy balance and not put gaming above everything else in your life. Which brings me to my next point, Seems like the media is always trying to portray gaming bad in some way or another. It is socially acceptable to spend your entire day off binge-watching movies or TV shows, but clocking in a few hours of quality gaming is a cardinal social sin which means you have some sort of problem? And it seems gaming is being singled out and being singled out I mean why does needs some sort of special recognition of its own when anything can become addictive?

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It seems to me it should fall into the same categories as gambling, television and social media addiction. The fact is unlike alcohol or drug addictions which are substance based, all these psychological addictions have the same roots cause and the same remedies, so needn’t be separated into specific subsets but should fall under one single category.

The WHO seems to be taking exactly the wrong approach to things like addiction or otherwise. They should focus less on the addiction, and more on the circumstances that lead people to seek out escapist behaviors in video games in the first place. Be it social or family issues or pre-existing mental health problems. And yes I agree that addiction itself is a mental disorder. But by creating a specific term and calling it a “gaming disorder” implies that it is something beyond just addiction. And when you classify something as a “disorder” you remove most of the blame from the sufferer and put it on gaming, and we know how the mainstream media loves blaming video games for everything.

Should all people who engage in gaming be concerned about developing gaming disorder?

Studies suggest that gaming disorder affects only a small proportion of people who engage in digital- or video-gaming activities. However, people who partake in gaming should be alert to the amount of time they spend on gaming activities, particularly when it is to the exclusion of other daily activities, as well as to any changes in their physical or psychological health and social functioning that could be attributed to their pattern of gaming behavior.

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Source: who.int

Debobrata Deb

Written by Debobrata Deb

He has always been interested in technology, especially knowing deeply about computers or gadgets since childhood. Gathering and sharing more and more knowledge relating to awesomeness is what he always like to do.