Most millenials grew up outdoors, playing with friends and enjoying nature. However, things have changed with the current generation. Most of them spend too much time indoors on their screens. They are either using social media or playing some online game. Since most of these kids have their phones with them all the time, they can play video games whenever they lose interest in something.
Experts have had their concerns about this disturbing trend. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently categorized video game addiction as a mental disorder. This is because the addicts exhibit the same symptoms as people with mental disorders.
Many parents had their concerns in the past. However, this new revelation of video game addiction being compared to a disorder has given parents new reasons to keep their children away from video games.
The International Classification of Disease (ICD), which is the WHO’s reference bible of recognized and diagnosable diseases, claims that digital/video gaming addiction leads to a pattern of persistent gaming.
The behavior is so extensive to a point that it takes over the victim’s other life interests. Shekhar Saxena, a WHO expert on mental health and substance abuse stated that one of the worst cases recorded in global research were of gamers playing up to 20 hours a day. Real addicts prefer to game and leave out other useful activities such as meals, sleep, work/school, and other daily tasks.
It was also reported that it’s only a small number of gamers that were likely to become addicts. However, identifying the signs early can help prevent it. Since this is meant to be a transitory or occasional behavior, it’s only viable for a potential disorder diagnosis if it’s a habit that has been persistent for about a year.
The Video Games Coalition, which is an industry lobby group commented saying that their products were both sensibly and safely enjoyed by over 2 billion customers worldwide. They also requested the WHO to reconsider the fact that some games offered therapeutic, recreational, and educational value.
The ICD has been collecting data for the past 10 years showing more than 55,000 cases of diseases, injuries, and causes of death. This creates a basis upon which WHO and other health experts can work on in response to health trends. Therefore, when they say that video gaming addiction is a disorder, they are on to something.