If a while ago something called “gaming disorder” made you check twice thinking that it was a term probably invented by some angry parents, it now seems that the World Health Organization has finally recognized it. The organization has recently included it its Internal Classification of Diseases. The volume is out this week and it presents three signs or “symptoms” that might affect someone. They include, among other things, choosing gaming over normal day-to-day activities and continuing to play video games even if some negative consequences occur.
And while a lot of young people might gasp at the sound of these possibly familiar symptoms, many experts have criticized it. Most characterized it as being vaguely-understood and subjective. Apart from this, it seems that its potential impact differs greatly from gamer to gamer. Not everyone who likes to play video games suffers from a disease. It’s interesting that the effects which the WHO shared are eerily similar with those of other addictive activities like gambling. The organization writes that disorders caused by addictive behaviors are clinically important and recognized syndromes which shouldn’t be ignored.
World Health Organization recognizes gaming disorder
The WHO also states that these diseases usually badly interfere with personal functions. These reportedly develop as a result of engaging in a rewarding behavior. In this case, we are not talking about certain dependence-inducing substances. When it comes to gaming disorder, the WHO states that this may involve both online and offline behavior that affects a person’s social life and normal and mandatory actions. A gamer might sometimes even ignore hygiene, friends, family or job/school.
However, according to WHO member Dr. Vladimir Poznyak, it seems that the prevalence of this disorder is, in fact, very low. There are millions of people who like playing video games frequently around the world. But that doesn’t make them sick.
Image source: flickr