We often hear parents of adolescents and children fussing about their children turning into a gaming fanatic or an addict. These fears of course to a large extent are often trivially thrown out but there is enough evidence to indicate how such addictions are akin to other addictions that one may develop. And has the capacity to make an individual disoriented and dysfunctional.
The World Health Organization in its International Classification of Diseases have included in their latest edition – “gaming disorder”
The volume, out this week, diagnoses the newly minted disorder with three key telltale signs:
1 Impaired control over gaming (e.g. onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context)
2 Increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities
3 Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences
The disorder has been criticized from a number of corners, including health professionals who have written it off as being overly broad and subjective. And, of course, the potential impact greatly differs from person to person and game to game.
In spite of what may appear to be universal symptoms, however, the organization is quick to note that the prevalence of gaming disorder, as defined by the WHO, is actually “very low.” WHO member Dr. Vladimir Poznyak tells CNN, “Millions of gamers around the world, even when it comes to the intense gaming, would never qualify as people suffering from gaming disorder.”