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Gaming Disorder Is Now A Disease

The W.H.O. is now calling the addiction to video games a disease.

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Classified as an addiction in 2018, gaming disorder has made an addition to the World Health Organization’s list of diseases. This resulted after collective agreement between 194 members of the WHO.

What is Gaming Disorder?

The question I’m sure a lot of us are asking is whether we are potential candidates for this new disease. The WHO identifies gaming disorder as

“a pattern of gaming behavior characterized 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.”

Diagnosis of gaming disorder requires an extreme attachment to video games. According to WHO’s expert on substance abuse and mental health Shekhar Saxena, a person would have to be “engaging in games for nearly 20 hours a day and prioritizing games over meals, school, sleep, or other daily activities.” If you like playing video games for three or four hours a day, and don’t starve yourself while playing them, you’re probably fine.

The Question of Gaming Disorder

The Global Video Game Industry argues against WHO’s classification of the disease. They find that the WHO is putting gaming into a bad light, and explain that the video game industry holds an important role creating new technologies, such as “virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and big data analysis.” The Global Video Game Industry also argues that it plays an important part in advancing research in fields like “mental health, dementia, cancer, and pioneer advances in accessibility.”

The Global Video Game Industry feels that the benefits of gaming are being ignored by the WHO, and are instead opening it to negativity. Because gaming is now related with disease, negative views may develop, despite its values in other fields.

The World Health Organization will find itself in more arguments with representatives from video game industries and scientists. It also leaves us to wonder what repercussions, if any, will occur among gamers.

An argument against video games has been the link between violence in players and games. Check out this article that explains video games are not to blame.

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