Can gaming become a disorder?

Posted on June 20, 2018

Gaming disorder has received much controversy from international professions, as many are uncertain if the inclusion of this disorder in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) would be more beneficial or harmful.

Since gaming disorder has been listed on the ICD-11, it is important for us to distinguish between gaming disorder and gaming addiction. Based on the ICD-11, gaming disorder can be identified by the presentation of the following 3 symptoms over a minimum time period of 1 year.

The first symptom is impaired control over gaming. This occurs when the individual finds it hard to control the amount of time spent on gaming. This also involves an increase in the number of locations in which the individual feels compelled to play a game.

The second symptom is an increase in priority given to gaming. This results in a preoccupation with gaming and placing gaming above all other tasks, and impairs productivity.

The last symptom is the inability to stop gaming regardless of the negative consequences. The gaming individual may even increase the amount of time spent on gaming in spite of the impairments on his or her social and emotional well-being.

Keeping these symptoms in mind, we would hopefully be able to discern between gaming behaviour and gaming disorder, and avoid over-generalisation.


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