Video Game Addiction Now a Recognized Illness

From today, video game addiction is officially a recognized illness. The World Health Organization has included “gaming disorder” in the latest draft of its International Classification of Diseases (ICD). So now when you say that you’re addicted to video games, it is official.

The ICD argue that people addicted to video games cannot control their behavior when around gaming, giving the pastime precedence over perhaps more important aspects of their lives. For example, if you find yourself more interested in playing Rocket League (other games are available) than eating, you might just be addicted.

Video Game Addiction, the Signs

The WHO listing for gaming disorder reads:

“Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline, manifested by: 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; and 3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”

Essentially, playing too many video games can have a negative impact on your health. Playing games is fine, but once you find games are affecting your social, personal, family or occupational behavior negatively, you may want to seek help. Indeed, those affected by video game addiction can now seek help and receive treatment. It may take up to 12 months to realize you might be addicted.

“The behavior pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The pattern of gaming behavior may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behavior and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.”

Strives have been made in recent months to officially recognize video game addiction as a disease thanks in some part to the behavioral effects suffered by children who can’t seem to spend time away from Fortnite. Indeed, evidence points towards children as those more likely to suffer from adverse effects. Maybe let your kids know if they’ve been playing games for too long, folks.