What is gaming disorder? Do you need to worry?

Video gaming is described as 'a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour'

The United Nations" health agency on Tuesday released its latest global classification of diseases, known as the ICD-11, which categorises "gender incongruence' under a newly created chapter on sexual health.

Corrections & Clarifications: An earlier version wrongly characterized the timing of the American Psychiatric Association's position on gaming disorders and the date when it included it in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders appendix.

Last year, a study from almost 30 academics opposed the gaming disorder classification, saying their addiction was best viewed as a coping mechanism associated with underlying problems such as anxiety or depression.

Increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities.

It added that such behavioural pattern would normally have been evident for at least 12 months. There's a difference between just enjoying playing video games and being addicted, mind; in fact, there are three primary criteria by which it's judged. "These include gaming disorder, which evidence shows is enough of a health problem that it requires tracking through the ICD".

"The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent", reads the WHO's classification of gaming disorder.

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Addition of gaming to this list of disorders has put it on the list of habits that can get problematic when not controlled on the level of gambling, alcohol, nicotine, and drugs.

Member states are expected to vote on the document at the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May 2019. "Gaming disorder has been added because of very clear scientific evidence that it has characteristic symptoms, and that there is need and demand for treatment from many regions of the world".

"Millions of gamers around the world, even when it comes to the intense gaming, would never qualify as people suffering from gaming disorder", Poznyak said.

"I think in the modern era, and how kids interact with their friends, it's no different than going out and playing out with them", Rairdin said.

What does the video game industry say?
"The gaming prompts a neurological response that influences feelings of pleasure and reward, and the result, in the extreme, is manifested as addictive behavior".

For parents or others who are concerned about a far-too-avid gamer, the first step is becoming "as informed as possible", recommended Bean, who is an author of a guidebook for clinicians wishing to work with gamers.

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