Gaming addiction classified as disorder by WHO

ESA Strongly Encourages World Health Organization To Reconsider Its Gaming Addiction Classification

So what is gaming addiction?

According to the report, it's when "increasing priority [is] given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities" that gaming becomes a mental health threat. The WHO's final publication is however expected in mid-2018.

It's worth pointing out that, at least for now, the recent classification of "gaming disorder" is just part of the first draft of the WHO's revision of its International Compendium of Diseases. By adding "gaming disorder" to the ICD, the WHO makes this health condition an official diagnosis that can be used by health care workers, including doctors.

In short, WHO has officially declared video game addiction a mental health disorder.

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The ESA is intimately intertwined with the United States video games industry and also recently declared that lootboxes aren't gambling, much to the dismay of tons of gamers. An entry on gaming disorder could further compound long-held negative imagery that gamers have faced since the birth of arcades. "Internet gaming disorder", as described by the Psychiatric Association, has been "very, very heavily criticized", said Ferguson, noting a that he co-authored with dozens of researchers from around the world.The DSM version of gaming disorder is built around substance abuse disorder, explained Ferguson. "Children's grades drop as they game more and more", Gentile said. Gentile recommends no more than one hour of screen time - meaning video games, TV, tablets and phones - for elementary school-aged kids and no more than two hours of screen time for secondary school-aged kids. This suggests it's a unique condition, he said.

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Gentile found that almost 9 percent of children who play video games develop what's called "gaming addiction". All of the aforementioned could be applied to a number of compulsive behaviours. "That's 3 million today taking serious damage to their lives because of the way they play", Gentile said.

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