The World Health Organisation, WHO, will add excessive video gaming to its International Classification of Diseases in 2018. Next year, people who play an excessive amount of video games could find themselves diagnosed with “gaming disorder,” going by the draft of the 11th update of WHO’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD).
The WHO classifies the pattern of games to include ‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’, which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline, manifested by impaired control over gaming (e.g.,onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context); increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”
According to the draft, gaming becomes more than just a hobby when you’re unable to control how often you play or can’t seem to stop even after battling it out for hours on end, ‘Forbes’ reported. Not only are those bouts of World of Warcraft more intense for people who have the disorder, but also the game often takes over their life and gets in the way of everyday activities.
The report states that the inclusion of gaming disorder in the ICD-11 means that healthcare workers and doctors can now diagnose someone with the condition. In addition, the report describes of the condition as a behaviour pattern that is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.
The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.”
A Professor at the University of Geneva, Daphne Bavelier, said it is not everyone who likes to play video games that has gaming disorder — plenty of people play video games without getting a diagnosis depending on the game, and how long and often you play it, video games can be a safe way of improving hand-eye coordination, enhancing problem-solving abilities, relieving stress, connecting people, and living out fantasies.