Excessive gaming may be labeled a mental health disorder

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The classification is part of a World Health Organization document that's been under review for years and could be released next year.

"The gaming behavior 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", according to the proposed disease classification listing.

This does not, of course, implicate everyone who plays games. The World Health Organization (WHO) is preparing to include it its new global medical coding guidelines.

"Not so sure that I actually agree with that, I think parents have a lot to do with what children do and how they're raised and they can help control and put boundaries on video games", Libby Raipstein, who was shopping for video games with her son, said.

The psychological benchmark for diagnosing mental health conditions, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), now lists internet gaming as a condition of further study.

The WHO has not listed other conditions linked to technology, such as so-called smartphone or internet addiction, due to a lack of evidence they are "real disorders". "However, in certain circumstances overuse can lead to adverse effects", Poznyak added.

Perhaps-in light of the WHO's definition of the new gaming disorder-like much of anything that has negative consequences, moderation is a key factor in reaping the benefits. University of California, Irvine, researchers found in 2015 that playing 3D video games can boost memory formation-adding to the literature that shows those types of games can improve hand-eye coordination and reaction time.

The presence of gaming disorder in the ICD-11 may have more extensive ramifications than we might suspect.

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