Too much video game time now considered mental disorder

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Playing video games obsessively could be classified as a mental health disorder from 2018, once the World Health Organization (WHO) goes ahead with proposed changes and updates to its diagnostic manual.

In the USA, 63 percent of households include at least one frequent gamer, according to 2016's Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry report. The mental disorder associated with video gaming must be evident for 12 months, less if the symptoms are severe. By adding "gaming disorder" to the list, the WHO can make the health condition an official diagnoses that can be used in health-care matters, according to CNN.

Gamers compulsively play to the exclusion of other interests and their persistent gaming appears to endanger their academic or job functioning, the APA had said.

"Gaming is highly addictive", said ESET security specialist Mark James, "and it is no wonder so many respondents from our study admit to playing them for so long".

The average gamer, the report added, has been playing video games for 13 years.

The WHO's classification means that gaming disorder will be recognized by doctors and insurance providers.

Too much video game time now considered mental disorder
Too much video game time now considered mental disorder

This is the first time that a gaming-related disorder has been officially termed by the medical community since the inclusion of "Internet Gaming Disorder" (IGD) in the DSM-5, or the Fifth Edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, in 2013.

"The new ICD-11 entry on gaming disorder "includes only a clinical description and not prevention and treatment options" said Gregory Hartl, a spokesman for the WHO".

Some studies suggest that the same brain circuits involved in drug addiction may also be activated when individuals are engrossed in Internet gaming.

Martin believes online gaming, where there isn't necessarily a reset button and can lead to gaming times which can end up unlimited, are different than old school gaming he grew up on.

Originally founded in 1948, the World Health Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations, aims to "build a better, healthier future" with their involvement in global public health across the globe.

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