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World Health Organisation describes 'gaming disorder'

by Mark Tyson on 19 June 2018, 14:21

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaduth

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently released the 11th edition of its International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD). The handbook is used by medical professionals and researchers as a reference and to identify diseases, by following the descriptions of symptoms within. For the first time, in this edition, the ICD has named and described 'gaming disorder' in the section on addictive disorders. With gaming disorder in the ICD, it will help alert medical professionals so that people who suffer from the described condition can get appropriate help.

Gaming disorder rubs shoulders with conditions such as gambling disorder, substance abuse, and addictive hoarding in the ICD. If you are a video game enthusiast or at least know others that love to spend hours playing games you might be interested in the three major diagnostic features or characteristics of gaming disorder. These are bullet pointed below:

  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

After checking through the above you might have some concerns but Dr. Vladimir Poznyak, a member of WHO's Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse told CNN that "Millions of gamers around the world, even when it comes to the intense gaming, would never qualify as people suffering from gaming disorder," adding that the overall prevalence of this condition is "very low."

There were some scientists who opposed the inclusion of 'gaming disorder' in the WHO ICD handbook. For example, Anthony Bean, a licensed psychologist, clinician and researcher speaking to CNN said that gaming is often more of a "coping mechanism for either anxiety or depression". If these underlying causes of the use of gaming as a distraction from life are dealt with then gaming is often scaled back dramatically. Then there are the huge differences in games genres and experiences to consider; social and solo player games, frantic violent and casual games.

The ICD 11 also introduced the related condition of Hazardous gaming. This goes beyond most of the addiction issues and refers to a pattern of gaming behaviour that "increases the risk of harmful physical or mental health consequences for the individual or others around this individual".



HEXUS Forums :: 45 Comments

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What utter tosh…!!

I stopped having any faith in the WHO's opinion after their closed summit to tackle the health problems of smoking, that ended up being a discussion on how tobacco use was a ‘useful source of generating tax revenue’ and the best ways to apply such taxes…

So with that in mind, here the WHO are now trying to crack on gaming…
Checking out their criteria for this ‘addiction’ I can only assume that, since my early childhood, I also have similar ‘addictions’ to books, movies, music and porn… none of which they seem too concerned about.

So why is gaming suddenly being pegged as the bad guy again?

Anthony Bean can get stuffed, too - I get that he's trying to help and be all psychoanalytical, which is kinda his job, but he says gaming is “coping mechanism for either anxiety or depression”…. The word is ‘HOBBY’, mate! Just like woodworking, or skateboarding, or stamp collecting…. It's what kids like to do instead of going out on the streets and getting into trouble with gangs and drugs and things.
I think the issue is when the dopamine mediated reward circuit goes loopy and this is basically uncontrollable AND is causing problems. I noticed similar issues with drinking which acts on the same mechanism and put measures in place to mitigate the issue. The problem with stuff like this (including drugs which mostly hit exactly the same circuit again) comes from what we in the health profession call poo life syndrome. This is usually where the achievements in a person's life are so few and far between that they have to get their dopamine kick from another source. Some use drugs, some use games but the method of addiction on a neurophysiological level is the same. As pointed out above, there are bookworms, there are film buffs, there are audiophiles and there are chronic masturbators. It takes an extraordinary effort for any of these “hobbies” to move into the realm of an actual issue. Most of the time if we notice a hobby is taking over too much of our time and is causing issues with family, etc then we will exercise self control automatically based on the goals we set for ourself in life (not infuriating one's wife is a worthy goal which might be relevant here). We are goal orientated creatures and will weigh up which goals we want to pursue at any given time and which is going to give the greatest reward. It's when that reward circuit becomes its own little monster that you must feed and becomes your only source of reward that you have a real problem. But that in itself is usually a symptom of far deeper issues in life.
Ttaskmaster
What utter tosh…!!

I stopped having any faith in the WHO's opinion after their closed summit to tackle the health problems of smoking, that ended up being a discussion on how tobacco use was a ‘useful source of generating tax revenue’ and the best ways to apply such taxes…

So with that in mind, here the WHO are now trying to crack on gaming…
Checking out their criteria for this ‘addiction’ I can only assume that, since my early childhood, I also have similar ‘addictions’ to books, movies, music and porn… none of which they seem too concerned about.

So why is gaming suddenly being pegged as the bad guy again?

Anthony Bean can get stuffed, too - I get that he's trying to help and be all psychoanalytical, which is kinda his job, but he says gaming is “coping mechanism for either anxiety or depression”…. The word is ‘HOBBY’, mate! Just like woodworking, or skateboarding, or stamp collecting…. It's what kids like to do instead of going out on the streets and getting into trouble with gangs and drugs and things.

It is when it becomes obsessive - and thats true of any other activity. The criteria is

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

In the same way you might have the occasional bet or glass of something alcoholic without being glassed as an addict, but when those activities become compulsive, it becomes an addiction.

(Disclaimer - I am not a psychologist/psychoanalyst etc :) )
Ttaskmaster
So why is gaming suddenly being pegged as the bad guy again?
Where is anyone doing that? As far as I can tell, they're not saying gaming is bad at all, only a disorder specifically. Gaming habit etc. is fine.
peterb
but when those activities become compulsive, it becomes an addiction.
But at the same time, an addiction is not a full-on disorder, particularly if it's a (relatively) healthy coping mechanism - Plenty of hoarders out there, for example, who lead otherwise perfectly fine lives. A few of them are even running the country.
So long as the people using it do cope, it's not a disorder.

kalniel
Where is anyone doing that? As far as I can tell, they're not saying gaming is bad at all, only a disorder specifically. Gaming habit etc. is fine.
That it would be singled out and given its own spotlight as a “disease” (dis-ease: a particular quality or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of people) is sufficient to say they're labelling it as bad.
That medical professionals need to be ‘alerted’ to those who ‘suffer’ from it?

Sorry, the whole thing reads like a sensationalist article from The Sun, or something, with only ‘Hazardous Gaming’ being anything close to an actual disorder.

Realistcially anything can become an addictive disorder… which they should probably just generically classify as Addiction Disorder, separate from any other addictions that have defined and separate impacts on health such as those based on substance/chemical abuse (ie drugs and alcohol)

I'm just wondering/questioning why gaming has to have its own separate addiction classification? Smacks of #MeToo syndrome…