Playing video game is not bad but getting addicted to it in 2018 automatically adds you to the list of people suffering from mental disorder according to the World Health Organization (WHO) refreshed list of disease for 2018.
A beta draft of the organisation’s forthcoming 11th International Classification of Diseases (ICD) includes “gaming disorder” in its list of mental health conditions.
“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.”
Digging into the terminology a little bit reveals that playing the odd 20-minute game of FIFA or plugging an hour into Zelda each weekend is not going to be detrimental to your health.
But, if it starts to become all-consuming (think eight-hour overnight binges) and the rest of your life starts to become unimportant, then there are signs of a problem.
The WHO has made it clear that it does not include any prevention or treatment methods, but rather just a clinical description of what constitutes a disorder.
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Gregory Hartl, a spokesman for the WHO, told CNN it is the “basis for identification of health trends and statistics globally and the international standard for reporting diseases and health conditions. It is used by medical practitioners around the world to diagnose conditions and by researchers to categorize conditions.”
The current version of the ICD was formulated and endorsed back in 1990, when video games were still growing and massive multiplayer online gaming had yet to become the mainstream entertainment it is now.
The WHO also points out that anyone with gaming disorder can’t stop themselves from playing.
The draft states: “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.”
While some may debate the nature of classifying excessive video gaming as an addiction, there have been worrying reports that support the idea.
In February, a dad-of-three died during a 24-hour video game marathon he was livestreaming online for charity.
Brian Vigneault, 35, is believed to have taken a break 22 hours into playing World of Tanks to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation on Twitch.tv.
Viewers grew concerned when Vigneault, from Virginia, failed to return from smoking a cigarette at 3.30am (9.30am GMT).
He was found unresponsive at his Virginia Beach home later that evening and was pronounced dead at the scene, the Sun reported.
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