Video Game Addiction Officially Classified As A Disorder

Gaming Can Be Additive, Literally

Do your kids spend hours on their TVs or computers playing Overwatch, Call of Duty or Fortnite? Perhaps its time to lay off the screens because the World Health Organization made video game addiction an official mental health disorder. The organization added “Gaming disorder” to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems or “ICD-11,” which goes into effect in January 2022.

“Gaming disorder” is described as “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior, which may be online or offline.” The disorder is manifested by “impaired control over gaming” and an “increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities,” despite “the occurrence of negative consequences.”

Health officials and video game industry representatives denounced the WHO’s classification, saying there is not enough evidence and research to warrant the classification of gaming disorder.

(Photo Credit: iStock)

This is because there could increase the risk of abuse of the formalized new disorder all while stigmatizing the form of entertainment.

Chris Ferguson, a psychologist and media researcher at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, said it could “have a psychological and societal cost, potentially harming the well-being of our children,” as reported by USA Today.

By: Maytinee Kramer

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