Health

WHO Approves Gaming Disorder as a Mental Disorder During the Revision of ICD-11

The World Health Organization has now officially determined ‘Gaming Disorder’ as a health condition. The health agency decided to include Gaming Disorder in the list of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) during the 72nd World Health Assembly. It is an event that took place this weekend in Geneva. As per the WHO, gaming disorder is a form of continuous gaming behaviour. Thus people crave to play online or offline games. Although, it is the first time the organisation has added gaming disorder to the list of addictive behaviour. Even more, the WHO has published a post, on its website, revealing gaming disorder. As per the notice, the disease results in weak control over gaming. The victim gives more preference to gaming than other activities like other hobbies and everyday work.

Last year, in June, the agency decided to add gaming disorder in its list. The WHO concerns probably harmful tech-related behaviours, along with increased use of the internet, laptops, and smartphones. Now, after an extended period of time, the organisation has agreed to include gaming disorder in ICD-11. The latest version of the list will take effect from 1 January 2022. The note of gaming disorder lies in a subsection of ICD-11, Disorders due to substance use or addictive behaviours. It is a section keen on dangerous cannabis use long with addictions like alcoholism and gambling. The WHO noted findings pinpoint very less amount of people have a gaming addiction, and they often engage in digital or video gaming activities. Thus while playing games, people must keep an eye on watch as the amount of time they spend on gaming activities may make them an addict.

Besides, the WHO says it has decided to include gaming disorder depending on the readily available proofs related to harmful gaming behaviour. The agency also had discussions with various experts, having specialisation in multiple disciplines, as a part of the decision process. Whereas, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has opposed the move to add the illness in the list. The agency has appealed the WHO to cancel its decision.

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Jason Amato

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