Dec 28th 2017

Game Addiction; an official disorder

The World Health Organization is planning to add video game addiction as an official disorder. It's different from what the DSM has proposed as Internet Gaming Disorder. Still, with video games being relatively new this is still a very contested definition.

In the draft for their 2018 International Classification of Diseases, the WHO has Gaming Disorder down as essentially someone who plays games enough that they interfere with their life. "The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning." 

The focus of their definition is on the consequences of playing video games, rather than how often they are played. Someone could play just a few hours a week, but still fit the definition depending on how much it influences their life. Which is one of the points scholars disagree on.

With it being included in the ICD it will be officially recognized by many countries. It'd help anyone who sought treatment get reimbursed. Still though, it doesn't give any advice on how to treat it or anything else, just a definition. What do you think? Is this a good thing that will help people who actually have a problem, or is it too soon to have something set down? Will this just fan the fears of people who don't understand games and think they're dangerous?