We are all sick: Gaming addiction is now recognized as a disease
While many gamers and analysts agree that massively multiplayer online and mobile games pushed this industry forward, the last two decades also increased the chance for any casual player to turn into an addict. The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed its intention to classify gaming addiction as one of the Mental, behavioral or neurodevelopmental disorders\Impulse control disorders back in 2017, and — at the end of last week — this issue has just been officially recognized and accepted at the organization's annual general meeting.
The definition included in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases describes gaming disorder as "a pattern of gaming behavior (“digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences."
Since this is much more complex than a headache, diagnosing it might take a while. According to the aforementioned document, "the behaviour pattern must be of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and would normally have been evident for at least 12 months" to diagnose someone with a gaming disorder.
In the long run, making this problem an official disease could have positive effects, such as legislation changes and the introduction of special treatment plans.
Have you ever felt addicted to a certain game or even more titles at once? What was the impact it had on your personal and professional life? Feel free to drop your stories in the comments section. If you can find some time to spare for watching the documentary below, that would also be a good idea.