World Health Organization considers video gaming disorder a threat

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The classification is part of a World Health Organization document that's been under review for years and could be released next year.

The disorder is classified as a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior, such as digital and video gaming, which may be on online or offline. The draft which the World Health Organization is going to finalize will feature video game addiction as one of the newly added disorders and it will be the updated ICD-11 category version.

Children's learning, health and social skills could be positively impacted by playing video games, according to a review of research published by the American Psychological Association.

Newsweek writes that gaming addiction has not been recognized as an official condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

The WHO has not listed other conditions linked to technology, such as so-called smartphone or internet addiction, due to a lack of evidence they are "real disorders".

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The drafting process of the official text is going on, but according to an official report, it includes an inability to control the length of gameplay, ignoring negative consequences related to gaming, forfeiting sleep, daily activities or "other life interests" to pursue a gaming and prioritizing games.

The WHO has come to this decision of adding this disorder to the list after monitoring computer gaming trends for over a decade now.

But as one academic told Fortune, not all video game players have a gaming disorder. That means that global health experts are arguing that there's a case for lumping harmfully excessive video gaming alongside addiction to substances like alcohol or drugs. Video games can improve hand-eye coordination, enhancing problem solving abilities, relieving stress, as well as connecting with people.

"Really you just have to take time, like on the [Nintendo] Switch, after a while, after a few minutes I put it down and go charge it, sit down on the bed, think about stuff, and once it's done charging I pick it back up, play for a little longer, so that you're not just stuck on it and you're not just looking at it for all eternity".

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