“Gaming” One More Disorder

The World Health Organization adds new disorders to national archive

Cody Bennett, Assistant Striv Producer

In the final leg of September the WHO (World Health Organization) decided to classify certain symptoms of gaming as “Gaming Disorder.”

A mental health issue described by the WHO as 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.

According to the WHO for one to be diagnosed, the game(s) must impact personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning for 12 consecutive months, giving priority to gaming over other everyday life activities.

Studies done by the WHO suggests that gaming disorder affects only a small proportion of people who engage in digital or video-gaming activities. People track how long they spend time on video games, in correlation to the time they spend doing in-real-life activities.

When the study was released, the statement from the WHO opened up millions of debates to study if it actually affects mental health.

Video Game addiction infographic

MedicalExpress released an article about this study, they broke up the argument into two groups who see the whole situation differently: those who grew up with games (usually under 35) and those who had kids that grew up with them (usually over 35). The kids or young adults that grew up with games usually admire the artistry and merit of online gaming, as those of the older group may see it as a colossal waste of time and money. As well as numbing the mind and desensitizing the player.

Twenty-eight different researchers also published evidence to rebuke the WHO’s own statement of addiction and disorder. Another study from Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre’s reveals in 200 pages that those who play games all founded that gaming brings out some of the best qualities of people.

Some test subjects brought creativity to the table, while some presented emotional and social benefits while playing.

The WHO then classified gamers as ones having the “poorest mental health correlation,”

Every six months, the WHO releases a new revision to the International Classification of Diseases. With the 11th including the disorder of gaming. With a 12th revision coming next year, the WHO will add more disorders to their national archive.