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World Health Organization Proposes “Gaming Disorder” as New Type of Addiction

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If you’re reading this website, you’re probably a very passionate video game hobbyist. You might also be soon classified as suffering from addiction, according to a new proposition from the World Health Organization.

The global body is proposing a new “Gaming Disorder” type of classification for addictive behavior, likening it to gambling disorder in a beta draft for their International Classification of Diseases for next year.

The current proposition has the diagnosis listed under “disorders due to substance use or addictive behaviors,” and is also detailed as “mental and behavioral disorders that develop as a result of the use of predominantly psychoactive substances, including medications, or specific repetitive rewarding and reinforcing behaviors.”

The classification goes on to describe this type of behavior:

“Disorders due to addictive behaviors are recognizable and clinically significant syndromes associated with distress or interference with personal functions that develop as a result of repetitive rewarding behaviors other than the use of dependence-producing substances,” words from the gaming section. “Disorders due to addictive behaviors include gambling disorder and gaming disorder, which may involve both online and offline behavior.”

As this draft is in beta form, this doesn’t mean the World Health Organization is ready to label millions of gamers, including myself, as addicts. They could remove it before the final form is approved and published.

How do you guys feel about this proposition from the World Health Organization? Are you a horribly misunderstood addict suffering from “gaming disorder?” Sound off in the comments below!

Editor’s Note: Featured image via South Park

Brandon Orselli

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Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.