And, of course, the potential impact greatly differs from person to person and game to game.
As of today, "gaming disorder" will appear in Internal Classification of Diseases, the organization's compendium of over 55,000 injuries and medical conditions. It describes the disorder as impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities.
The new classification is set to matter significantly and would open new frontiers as far as research into the issue of gaming is concerned.
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Simply playing a lot of video games does not automatically mean that someone has a problem.
The inclusion of gaming disorder in ICD-11, adds WHO, follows the development of treatment programmes for people with health conditions identical to those characteristic of gaming disorder in many parts of the world.
Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.
However, this inclusion isn't being well received by all; many experts aren't convinced that gaming disorder even exists in the first place. "It enables us to understand so much about what makes people get sick and die, and to take action to prevent suffering and save lives".
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Housing almost 55,000 medical issues, the ICD-11 is used for clinical care, research, and is rarely given major revisions, so it is a legitimately big deal that gaming addiction has been added to its pages.
For a diagnosis, the behavior pattern should last at least 12 months, though the World Health Organization is proposing exceptions in severe cases.
"The new catalogue, which still needs to be approved by United Nations member countries, so-called "gender incongruence" is now listed under "conditions related to sexual health", instead of "mental, behavioural and neurodevelopmental disorders".
The ICD-11 doesn't come into effect until January 1, 2022, with today's release being "an advanced preview" to give countries the chance to prepare for its changes. Apple, with their new update, will have an app called "Screen Time" to also help monitor our usage.
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