Yesterday, the World Health Organization announced that it had finalized its 11th International Classification of Diseases, and much like the draft did in December of previous year, it includes the addition of gaming to its section of addictive disorders.
The classification is aimed at alerting health professionals and systems to the existence of this condition and ensuring that people suffering from these conditions can get appropriate help.
Maybe more consumers will push back against video game makers who design their products to be addictive with the same sort of uproar we've seen about tobacco and opioids. It is believed that 3% of gamers will be affected by this disorder.
The disorder can consist of an impaired control over the frequency, intensity and duration of gaming, increasing priority given to gaming to the point that it takes precedence over other daily activities and commitments, and a continuation or escalation of gaming despite it's negative consequences on other parts of life.
"People need to understand this doesn't mean every child who spends hours in their room playing games is an addict, otherwise medics are going to be flooded with requests for help", she said.
The International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which has been updated over the past 10 years, now covers 55,000 injuries, diseases and causes of death. Among the concerns of skeptics is the possibility that, by explicitly codifying gaming addiction, it could end up heaping further stigma on video games in general.
ICD-11 will be presented at the World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption by member states, and will come into effect on January 1, 2022.
Most of the medical profession is against the Gaming Disorder inclusion; twopapers opposing the proposal having already been released.
This is the first revision of the codes to be completely electronic, which World Health Organization officials said was a better way to group conditions, and would enable patient safety to be recorded more easily.
Many of people on social media have said how stupid this is to have an addiction for gaming. The latest edition also has a new chapter on traditional medicine. Currently, gambling disorder is the only officially recognized behavioral addiction in the US, unlike in China and South Korea, which have rolled out treatment programs for gaming disorder.
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