ESA Says Video Games Are Not Addictive, Refuting the World Health Organization

Adjust Comment Print

Just swap the word "alcohol" for "gaming".

Psychologists have been debating in recent years whether or not to classify excessive gaming as a distinct mental disease, and the World Health Organization (WHO) appears to be leaning toward recognizing "gaming disorder" as a real thing. According to WHO's beta draft, the upcoming event of International Classification of Diseases characterized gaming as a disorder because of the consistent pattern of continuous gaming behavior, a character that hooks people to online platforms.

Some experts disagree with labeling this addiction as a disorder.

In that, internet gaming disorder is listed as a "condition for further study", meaning it is not officially recognised.

"The behavior pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, or other important areas of functioning".

According to the WHO's description you may have a problem if your symptoms include impaired control over gaming - you just can not stop playing.

Some of the symptoms the World Health Organization links to video gaming disorder include impaired control of gaming like intensity, duration, frequency, termination, and context. It may also be displayed by increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities.

And, the continuation and escalation of gaming continues even after you suffer negative consequences like getting fired for playing on company time or you keep losing relationships because you just are not present.

It will suggest that abnormal gaming behaviour should be in evidence over a period of at least 12 months "for a diagnosis to be assigned" but added that period might be shortened "if symptoms are severe".

The WHO's clinical description does not include prevention or treatment options.

But others have argued that the WHO's classification is scientifically unsound.

It also enables healthcare workers to compare data in the same location over different time periods.

Many psychiatrists refer to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the fifth edition of which was published in 2013. In contrast to DSM, ICD lists both mental and physical disorders.