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World Health Organisation deems ‘gaming addiction’ a mental health disorder

WE LOVE TO GAME here at The INQUIRER and we know how ‘one more go’ syndrome can take hold and have us finally switch-off our Nintendo Switch or PS4 around 3am on a Tuesday morning. 

But sometimes such gaming can get out of control, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday deeming ‘gaming disorder’ an official mental health condition.

As such, the disorder joins the ranks of substance abuse in terms of what it’ll get likened to; given the endorphin hit defeating a tricky boss in Dark Souls or Bloodborne can deliver, that’s arguably not surprising.

Much like gambling addiction, gaming addiction has similar traits with people giving ever-more time to gaming and the pursuit of achievements and awards at the expense of other activities. Over time, such behaviour can have seriously damaging ramifications on a person’s health, work and social life.

However, for people to be classed as suffering from gaming disorder, there will need to be evidence spanning at least 12 months suggesting that the person’s other interests and daily activity have been negatively affected by increased gaming and that the situation is continuing to increase despite the warnings.

This’ll mean that annoyed parents and spouses won’t be able to declare their child or partner is afflicted with gaming addiction if they’ve put in a few too many hours in Fortnite and other such compellingly competitive games.

“Studies suggest that gaming disorder affects only a small proportion of people who engage in digital- or video-gaming activities,” explained the WHO.

“However, people who partake in gaming should be alert to the amount of time they spend on gaming activities, particularly when it is to the exclusion of other daily activities, as well as to any changes in their physical or psychological health and social functioning that could be attributed to their pattern of gaming behaviour.”

That being said, many organisations like the US’ barmy National Rifle Association, will still try and blame games for causing violence and addiction, despite the checks and balances put in by the WHO. µ

Source : Inquirer

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