Can a Gaming Addiction Be Considered a Disorder?

black game controller in close up
Health specialists are debating whether a gaming addiction should be considered a disorder or not.

The World Health Organization decided to classify a gaming addiction as a disorder. This is usually explained as a problem caused by addictive behavior or substance use. For the moment, this listing is just a proposed draft update for the International Compendium of Diseases.

The draft is set to be finalized this year. WHO wants to renew the debate about being addicted to gaming as it wants to establish if this problem can be considered a disorder.

The current listing mentions that a person who has such an addiction lets video games cross the line into their daily life by making them more important than other usual activities.

Should a Gaming Addiction be Considered a Health Problem?

Many experts talk about the negative consequences of having a gaming addiction. One of them is that it can affect the social life of individuals. Their family can also suffer because of this behavior.

Also, young people who tend to play too many video games might not focus so much on their education.

Currently, a person should show these symptoms for more than 12 months before being diagnosed with having a gaming addiction.

Now, the WHO draft might classify a person as an addict after a shorter period of time. The debate about gaming addiction has been ongoing for many years now. Some argue and point out that long gaming sessions can even lead to death. This is why they want to classify a gaming addiction as a disorder.

Others are preoccupied with the fact that people who have a gaming problem might present a higher risk of developing particular mental and behavioral issues.

It is believed that classifying a gaming addiction as a disorder could help raise awareness about the problem. It might make people understand that it is not healthy to focus more on games than on real life.

On the other hand, it is believed that using the term addiction or disorder when a person is more invested in playing games than in learning at school can downplay the negative consequences of those who really have a problem.

Nonetheless, in this debate, all parties involved agree on the need for more studies. These could help find out more about the effects of being addicted to gaming.

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