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“a pattern of gaming behavior (‘digital-gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’) characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence…, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”
Mental health or moral panic?
“apparent withdrawal [from gaming] may instead be a normal reaction to other stress unrelated to gaming, but where symptoms are typically reduced or managed by regular gaming activity.”
The next level
”For gaming disorder to be diagnosed, the behaviour pattern must be of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and would normally have been evident for at least 12 months.” – WHO, 2018.
With people already being treated for gaming disorder, if inclusion in ICD-11 leads to an evidence-based development of the treatment measures being employed, that has to be a good thing. After all, a 2017 literature review of internet gaming disorder treatments identified “many areas of study design and reporting in need of improvement” and expressed “a need for studies that provide greater insight into the core psychopathology of Internet gaming disorder”. Perhaps the recognition of gaming disorder will hasten that improvement, but there’s also the risk it will lend credence to treatments not yet robustly proven, while distracting from the diagnosis of deeper-rooted problems.“…based on reviews of available evidence and reflect[ing] a consensus of experts… [It] follows the development of treatment programmes for people with health conditions identical to those characteristic of gaming disorder in many parts of the world, and will result in the increased attention of health professionals to the risks of development of this disorder and, accordingly, to relevant prevention and treatment measures.”
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