Over industry objections, the World Health Organisation has now designated it a bona fide mental health disease. What are the signs your child is at risk?
Members of the UN’s health agency voted last weekend to approve the change as part of updates to its International Classification of Diseases (ICD).
It cautioned that gaming disorder was a relatively rare condition, affecting only a small proportion of the two billion people worldwide who play digital games.
The disorder, according to the ICD, is “characterised by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”
Put more simply - a person with gaming disorder “lives to game.” They would rather play their game than do anything else, feel powerless to stop and will keep playing at any cost.
Industry lobby group the Video Games Coalition has scoffed at the decision, maintaining that their products have “educational, therapeutic, and recreational value.”
Quite simply, a person with gaming disorder “lives to game.”
It should be noted that the American Psychiatric Association has hesitated to define gaming as an addiction, citing lack of clear scientific evidence. There are also concerns that excessive gaming may be a sign of depression or anxiety rather than a disorder in its own right.
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