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Excessive gaming now officially classified as a medical disorder

551   //    27 Dec 2017, 14:18 IST

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Excess gaming can be hazardous for health

What's the story?

Excessive gaming, to the point where it takes control over one's life and restricts his daily activities, is now officially a mental disorder, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). It might not be a conventional form of disorder, but it is classified by the WHO as a 'persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour,' or in simple terms, an addiction to gaming. 

WHO further says that persons, who suffer from this disorder, give video games priority over other interests and daily life activities. People suffering from this disorder tend to increase the duration of gaming, despite being aware of the negative consequences of doing so.

In case you didn't know...

Video game addiction may indirectly lead to premature death. In 2012, two men in Taiwan died while playing computer games. The police speculated that "long hours in a sedentary position created cardiovascular problems."

The heart of the matter

Significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, or other important areas of functioning is seen in people, who suffer from this disorder. This is true especially for people, who have been gaming excessively for a period greater than 12 months.

This, however, does not mean that playing video games is a mental disorder. Video games have been proven to improve hand-eye coordination and cognitive skills. They relieve stress, connect people and enhance problem-solving abilities.

What's next?

The fact that excessive gaming has been classified as an official mental disorder by the WHO, might help change the mindset amongst gamers. If gaming disorder becomes a real thing, doctors could soon diagnose patients and insurance companies could extend coverage for the treatment of the ailment.

Author's take

If one locks himself up inside a room to play video games at a stretch for hours, he is unknowingly suffering from the disorder. This classification by the World Health Organisation is a wake-up call for many people, who spend too much time playing games, disregarding daily life activities in the process.

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