Do you play video games for long times, causing you to neglect daily responsibilities? If you are, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), you’re classified as mentally ill starting today
Although the classification of video games addiction as a mental disorder has been done in the past, the official vote on it becoming a disease for doctors around the world to treat had just happened. It is now listed in the database of global diseases (ICD), which is a reference for all doctors to diagnose newly detected diseases.
What are the symptoms of this imbalance? WHO classifies “Gaming Disorder” as “a pattern of gaming behavior characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”
According to the description, anyone who has these symptoms for at least one year is a patient who is entitled to visit a specialist. “Gaming Disorder” is classified as a mental disorder and behavioral disorder similar to gambling disorder, which has a similar description.
A number of countries have expressed their opposition to the decision, most notably South Korea, which was one of the first to voice their dissatisfaction with the new classification. A representative of the Korean Ministry of Culture in Seoul said there was insufficient evidence that video games were causing any disease, saying that these behaviors often come from different circumstances.
South Korea is one of the leading countries in the field of video games and the leader in the fields of electronic sports and online games, so the government’s defense of this activity is not surprising. The biggest problem with WHO’s classification of the new disease is not the symptoms but the causes, with the organization completely blaming the video games themselves without taking into account other factors contributing to a person’s addiction, according to the Korean Creative Content Authority.
Many studies have provided evidence that video games do not directly alter a person’s behavior. As a recent study has found no direct correlation between violent video gameplay and increased aggression in individuals. In any case, addiction is a real disease found in many entertainment fields, and the responsibility rests on the player in organizing time and not neglecting daily duties to maintain a healthy life.
Worth mentioning that Tencent recently launched a new feature that limits PUBG Mobile’s daily playing time in an attempt to curb the addiction that has hit millions of players around the world in countries including India, Iraq and Nepal.