Experts will soon decide if gaming addiction is to become an official disorder

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Back in June last year, the WHO made the surprising decision to include ‘gaming disorder’ in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) for 2018 following its inclusion in the draft document. This week, experts attending the World Health Assembly in Geneva will vote on whether to approve the classification.

ICD-11 defines gaming disorder as:

  • Impaired control over gaming (e.g. onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context).
  • Increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities.
  • Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

The document adds that someone suffering from gaming disorder has a behavioural pattern that negatively affects their personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.

Both the medical profession and gaming industry are opposed to the inclusion of Gaming Disorder in ICD-11. "We believe that continued conversation and education is needed before any classification is finalised. In fact, leading mental health experts have cautioned repeatedly that classifying 'Gaming Disorder' creates a risk of misdiagnosis for patients who most need help," said Entertainment Software Association president, Stanley Pierre-Louis. "It's our hope that through continued dialogue we can help the WHO avoid rushed action and mistakes that could take years to correct.”

Gaming addiction has come under the spotlight more than ever over the last few years, helped in no small part by the popularity of games such as Fortnite, which has been demonized for allegedly causing addictive traits among young people. Should gaming addiction become an officially recognized disease, the medium's image could take another blow.

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ShagnWagn

TS Guru
Whether it's obesity or gun violence or video gaming or drugs...the bottom line is access.

More access to (insert vice here) will equal more (insert problem here) .
I was going to say the bottom line is addiction to <insert vice>. Everything in moderation and there is no issue. You can turn about anything into an addiction.
 
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TomSEA

TechSpot Chancellor
They might want to look at Korea first where there's been people die in internet cafes playing games, because they can't put it down.

But you can find addiction in pretty much any activity. And it's not the activity, it's the individual personality.
 
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I was going to say the bottom line is addiction to <insert vice>. Everything in moderation and there is no issue. You can turn about anything into an addiction.

Access is the bottom line. Without access there is no addiction.

You can easily be addicted to cocaine but without access, your addiction goes away.

Same goes for calorie rich food.

They claim they are worried about Childhood obesity yet sell you 1000 calories for $1 in the form of 25 cent snack cakes.
 

LogiGaming

TS Addict
If video games are considered a disorder or addictive, then watching football is too. This is the dumbest debate so far.
No is not dumb. There are several cases of people that have a completly different life style because of videogames. They stop going out, they stop talking with friends, they stop taking care of their look/fitness/body, they stop doing other useful activities, they stop eating healthy because they want a fast meal, they go to bed really late and sleep 4 hours or less instead of the reccomended 8/9 hours, they get games too seriously and that heavily affects their mood if things don´t go right, they lose track of time, etc etc etc

Now you ask me, can´t this happen too with many other activities? Yes it can, but videogames addiction is dangerous and I´m happy someone had the guts. Also, this doesn´t mean every gamer has an addiction, we are talking about extreme situations, not about every gamer.
 

Nobina

TS Evangelist
I was going to say the bottom line is addiction to <insert vice>. Everything in moderation and there is no issue. You can turn about anything into an addiction.

Access is the bottom line. Without access there is no addiction.

You can easily be addicted to cocaine but without access, your addiction goes away.

Same goes for calorie rich food.

They claim they are worried about Childhood obesity yet sell you 1000 calories for $1 in the form of 25 cent snack cakes.
Ok, but what do you want done? Remove access to anything that can be addicting? Restricting people like they do in China goes against your whole "freedom" approach.

Kids need to be taught self control at home even before they go to school and that's a long process. Unfortunately, the way things are now people have left themselves go and they live by the logic "Do whatever you want as long as it's not hurting anybody... what's that? Coke? Go ahead".
 
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I was going to say the bottom line is addiction to <insert vice>. Everything in moderation and there is no issue. You can turn about anything into an addiction.

Access is the bottom line. Without access there is no addiction.

You can easily be addicted to cocaine but without access, your addiction goes away.

Same goes for calorie rich food.

They claim they are worried about Childhood obesity yet sell you 1000 calories for $1 in the form of 25 cent snack cakes.
Ok, but what do you want done? Remove access to anything that can be addicting? Restricting people like they do in China goes against your whole "freedom" approach.

Kids need to be taught self control at home even before they go to school and that's a long process. Unfortunately, the way things are now people have left themselves go and they live by the logic "Do whatever you want as long as it's not hurting anybody... what's that? Coke? Go ahead".

Some countries have already beaten me to it.

They identify trends like Fortnite and PUBG and flat out ban them.

Others banned lootboxes.

Others banned blood/gore or Nazi iconography.
 

DukeJukem

TS Booster
This article completely overlooks the fact that streaming exists. Yea how you gonna fit those people into this article? Dr Disrespect is addicted to video games but he drives a Lamborghini, is the first youtuber to have 1 BILLION subscribers and is providing a set life for his family by playing video games. What does this article say about people like that?
 
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Theinsanegamer

TS Evangelist
I dont think the games themselves are addicting* (*outside of, you know, all the mobile games designed with the help of the same psychologists casinos employ), rather this is simply an addictive behavior disorder. Take away these people's games, and they would get hooked on alchohol, drugs, gambling, ece.
I was going to say the bottom line is addiction to <insert vice>. Everything in moderation and there is no issue. You can turn about anything into an addiction.

Access is the bottom line. Without access there is no addiction.

You can easily be addicted to cocaine but without access, your addiction goes away.

Same goes for calorie rich food.

They claim they are worried about Childhood obesity yet sell you 1000 calories for $1 in the form of 25 cent snack cakes.
Ok, but what do you want done? Remove access to anything that can be addicting? Restricting people like they do in China goes against your whole "freedom" approach.

Kids need to be taught self control at home even before they go to school and that's a long process. Unfortunately, the way things are now people have left themselves go and they live by the logic "Do whatever you want as long as it's not hurting anybody... what's that? Coke? Go ahead".

Some countries have already beaten me to it.

They identify trends like Fortnite and PUBG and flat out ban them.

Others banned lootboxes.

Others banned blood/gore or Nazi iconography.
So you want to ban videogames then? Are you perhaps named Jack Thompson?
 

SolidSneak

TS Rookie
This article completely overlooks the fact that streaming exists. Yea how you gonna fit those people into this article? Dr Disrespect is addicted to video games but he drives a Lamborghini, is the first youtuber to have 1 BILLION subscribers and is providing a set life for his family by playing video games. What does this article say about people like that?
Well, the definition is based on the control the individual. I imagine streamers should be able to display a healthy control on when they start/stop playing.
 
This article completely overlooks the fact that streaming exists. Yea how you gonna fit those people into this article? Dr Disrespect is addicted to video games but he drives a Lamborghini, is the first youtuber to have 1 BILLION subscribers and is providing a set life for his family by playing video games. What does this article say about people like that?

Streaming exists?

And China - for example - blocks entire ISPS.

Good luck getting a VPN.

Good luck buying contraband and not getting caught.

Good luck buying DVD's that aren't allowed past customs.
 

pcnthuziast

TS Evangelist
The only logical way to deal with ANY addiction is to quit completely. That's the only way to "beat" addiction. Easy to see where this could go and it is as slippery a slope as any.
 
I dont think the games themselves are addicting* (*outside of, you know, all the mobile games designed with the help of the same psychologists casinos employ), rather this is simply an addictive behavior disorder. Take away these people's games, and they would get hooked on alchohol, drugs, gambling, ece.

So you want to ban videogames then? Are you perhaps named Jack Thompson?

I'm not in charge of the government. The officials in charge are already ahead of me.
 

Eric Mozzone

TS Enthusiast
Not taking a side here, but as a gamer, I have questioned myself "is this addiction?" or is it something I have a passion for? If my hobby was working on cars or drumming, would you call it an addiction if I enjoyed it and chose to spend my spare time doing it? At the end of the day, I do not consider an activity or hobby that I spend most of my spare time on, an addiction.

Now, if you find yourself having withdrawn from not gaming, yeah I think there's a problem to address, but you can't put a label on it. Did Forest Gump have a running addiction? I dunno.. Sounds stupid and made up.
 

IAMTHESTIG

TS Evangelist
Well at least they are calling it a disorder and not a disease. Lots of people have "disorders" but its all about how you control it; in this case, many people don't control it.
 

andy234

TS Rookie
For me, gaming disorder is definitely a real thing. 15-20 years ago in college I became addicted to a little known game called Counter-Strike. It was all I wanted to do 24/7. All-night sessions were common. I didn't care if I failed classes (which I did), lost jobs (which I did), or lost my girlfriend, now wife (which came very close). I even had to drop out of college because if it (I eventually finished). But like most people say, it comes down to access. I lived with my girlfriend at that time who gave me an ultimatum. Either the game goes or she does. I uninstalled. Like any other addiction, it was HARD. The game consumed my life and my thoughts. It was difficult, but I was eventually able to return to a normal life. I forced myself to overcome my disorder. But the real question is, is gaming disorder a serious enough condition that warrants medical treatment? I wasn't physically addicted, but I certainly was mentally addicted. I do believe that psychological treatment or counselling is justified. Are drugs/prescriptions needed to treat gaming disorder? I'd say no to that. Anyway, just sharing my experience.
 
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OutlawCecil

TS Evangelist
Some countries have already beaten me to it.

They identify trends like Fortnite and PUBG and flat out ban them.

Others banned lootboxes.

Others banned blood/gore or Nazi iconography.
Video games are entertainment. Literally everything labeled as entertainment can become an addiction, the only difference being with video games you don't have to do anything or go anywhere. This is just like the violent video game debate... no proof whatsoever, it's just an idea people believe is true.
 
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Video games are entertainment. Literally everything labeled as entertainment can become an addiction, the only difference being with video games you don't have to do anything or go anywhere. This is just like the violent video game debate... no proof whatsoever, it's just an idea people believe is true.

And as I pointed out, many countries don't bother debating it. They simply ban them and then turn on CNN to see which American school is under siege this week.

Many countries don't bother debating gun control. They simply ban them and then turn on CNN to see which American school is under siege this week.

Many countries don't bother debating drugs. They simply ban them, execute drug offenders and then turn on CNN to see which American neighborhood is drowning in opioids this week.
 

OutlawCecil

TS Evangelist
And as I pointed out, many countries don't bother debating it. They simply ban them and then turn on CNN to see which American school is under siege this week.

Many countries don't bother debating gun control. They simply ban them and then turn on CNN to see which American school is under siege this week.

Many countries don't bother debating drugs. They simply ban them, execute drug offenders and then turn on CNN to see which American neighborhood is drowning in opioids this week.
Sounds like Nazi Germany to me. Who needs freedoms when you can have somebody force you to behave a certain way without any proof it's good/bad for you. nice.
 
Sounds like Nazi Germany to me. Who needs freedoms when you can have somebody force you to behave a certain way without any proof it's good/bad for you. nice.

Tell that to the US government while they’re deciding what to do about marijuana because as far as I know it’s not 100% legal .