World Health Organization to Declare Excessive Gaming to Be an Official Disorder

Video gaming disorder to be officially recognised for first time

If you've ever been told video games will rot your brain, the World Health Organization may add credence to that theory. In the draft of the 11th version released by World Health Organization, gaming disorder is described as "a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (digital gaming or video-gaming), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline".

Various other researchers contested the inclusion of gaming as an addiction into the WHO's ICD-11 database due to the vagueness of the disorder, which included 26 scholars rebutting the entry via an open letter on Research Gate.

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These symptoms normally must appear over a period of 12 months for a diagnosis, though it may be diagnosed in a shorter amount of time depending on the severity. The new disorder, however, doesn't mean playing video games are bad for you or qualifies as a mental illness on its own.

Those findings should not replace other studies delivering a warier message about video games. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is made by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), presently can't seem to perceive gaming as an official condition.

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So parents, if your child has his eyes glued to the screen and fingers to the gaming remote, it's high time for you to start taking caution! "Important research has already been conducted for decades on the negative effects of gaming, including addiction, depression and aggression, and we are certainly not suggesting that this should be ignored", said lead author Isabela Granic, developmental psychopathology professor at the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands, in a 2013 statement when the review was released. The symptoms include forfeiting sleep, daily activities or "other life interests" to pursue gaming. However, the new "gaming disorder" can be applied to both online and offline gaming.

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