Those who feel the compulsive desire to play video games for longer periods of time, it’s not good news for them. World Health Organisation (WHO) has recognized gaming addiction as a classified disorder of mental health condition.
In a draft consisting of 11th International Classification of Diseases (ICD) guidelines, that is set to be published in 2018, gaming disorder is recognised as a “pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour”, whether it’s on or offline.
Notably, the traits of this disorder involve patients putting gaming as a priority activity than other “life interests and daily activities and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences”.
While some nations have already declared it as a huge public health issue, others, including United Kingdom (UK), have set up private addiction clinics to provide the treatment of the condition.
With different codes, symptoms and signs of different diseases, the guide contains all the information which will help the researchers and doctors to determine and diagnose the disease. It will track the abnormality in gaming behaviour over a period of at least 12 months.
The symptoms may include the following mentioned patterns:
- Diminished control over gaming when it comes to duration, intensity and frequency.
- Increased priority given to playing video games.
- Perpetuation of escalation of playing video games despite negative undesirable consequences.
A lead technology addiction specialist at the Nightingale Hospital of London, Dr Richard Graham have validated the decision to recognise the mental health condition. He said, “It is significant because it creates the opportunity for more specialised services. It puts it on the map as something to take seriously.” However, he added that he sympathizes with the people who are against medicalising this condition.
He further said, “It could lead to confused parents whose children are just enthusiastic gamers.”
According to Dr Graham, he has witnessed 50 new digital addiction cases every year and his condition is on the grounds of the activity that affects the basic things like sleep, socialising, eating and education.
He elaborated that he asked himself a question that, “Is the addiction taking up neurological real-estate, dominating thinking and preoccupation?”
In the research on children aged between 8 to 18 years, researchers have found that boys spend more time in playing video games than girls.