Gamers, beware; the World Health Organization is officially recognizing 'Gaming Disorder' as a mental health condition.
The beta draft of the WHO’s upcoming 11th edition of International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), due out in 2018, officially includes obsessive gaming as an affliction.
The condition is said to be characterized by an “impaired control over gaming,” leaving sufferers with an an inability to control the frequency, intensity, duration and context of their gaming habits.
Gaming disorder can be diagnosed if the gamer's habits exhibit “sufficient severity," enough to "result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning,” according to the WHO.
The organization also notes a diagnosis may be in order if gamers choose video games over “other life interests and daily activities” and play “despite the occurrence of negative consequences” on their lives.
Further text explains gaming behavior and other features are normally evident over a minumum 12-month period in order for a diagnosis to be assigned– however, the required duration in order to diagnose may be shortened if "all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.”
This is a game-changing report for many reasons, especially as a reflections of the times. The broader implications this makes on gaming, and even more so, the gamers, points to a sense of concern and hysteria surrounding a hobby many enjoy and love.
With that said, not everyone has signed on to acknowledge Gaming disorder as a thing. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is created by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), has yet to recognize gaming as an official condition.
However, this is likely due to lapse in movement on their part. The guide does in fact include Internet Gaming Disorder as a potential condition to watch and monitor for future inclusion, leading us to believe it's only a matter of time before they make an official inclusion as well.