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WHO officially declares excessive gaming a disorder

World Health Organisation (WHO) recently declared excessive mobile, video gaming as a disorder. PUBG is one of such games which was under lens from a long time.

May 28, 2019 18:07 IST
WHO officially declares excessive gaming a disorder

World Health Organisation (WHO) recently declared excessive mobile, video gaming as a disorder. Several mental and physical illness issues come up due to excessive gaming. “Gaming disorder” alongside “gambling disorder” has officially placed in the 11th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11) list of “disorders due to addictive behaviours”. Games like PUBG, Loot Boxes and Blue Whale have a darker side that health professionals can no longer ignore.

The International Classification of Diseases - ICD is a foundation for recognition of health issues and trends globally and the international standard for reporting diseases and health problems. It is used by medical experts around the globe to detect conditions and by researchers to categorize conditions.

About gaming disorder

As per the WHO, Gaming disorder is defined in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as a model of gaming trend characterized by impaired control over gaming, rising 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.

Gaming disorder is “characterized by a pattern of persistent and recurring gaming behaviour" where a player begins to give priority to gaming over other daily activities and interest to a point where it begins to affect their relationships, work and education. It has caused doctors in India to sit up and take note.

Why included in ICD-11?

A decision on inclusion of gaming disorder in ICD-11 is based on reviews of available evidence and reflects a consensus of experts from different disciplines and geographical regions that were involved in the process of technical consultations undertaken by WHO in the process of ICD-11 development.

The inclusion of gaming disorder in ICD-11 follows the development of treatment programmes for people with health conditions identical to those characteristic of gaming disorder in many parts of the world, and will result in the increased attention of health professionals to the risks of development of this disorder and, accordingly, to relevant prevention and treatment measures.

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