Video game addiction is listed as a major mental health disorder by the World Health Organization (WHO). After one year-long debate, the WHO agreed on this point.
The discussion of adding this to mental disorder list about a year ago, in 11th International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), after a long-lasting research and debate, World Health Organization delegation votes for adding the video gaming addiction to the mental disorder list.
Governments are now required to include all sorts of video gaming addiction as a mental disorder in public health policies by 2022.
Addiction to video games is being placed under the category of “Disorders due to substance use or addictive behaviors”. This category also includes gambling and alcohol addiction. All the people who are severely addicted to video games will have to undergo a special treatment suggested by WHO.
International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) further defined offline and online gaming disorder as a way of recurring and persistent gaming behavior.
WHO defined this addiction as one of the dangerous as an individual loses control over their life as their brain is constantly pushing themselves to play the games even if they do not want to. This leads to skipping homework and in adults, it can be skipping office which leads to many other problems.
Moreover, the report said that this leads to thedestruction of family, social, educational, personal and occupational areas of life.
WHO further warned Government that if they continue to see severe cases such as suicides which are triggered by online gaming or online bullying, then the government should think about restricting the gaming access in the near future.
In April 2019, A boy in India committed suicide after playing PUBG during his exam time, boy hanged himself after realizing he wasted a lot of his time playing the game. Later, India banned PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG).
World’s largest gaming market China has now enforced a law for children under 13 years old to get permission from parents before accessing any online games.
Nepal and Iraq are also looking forward to limiting the access of online gaming due to aggressive behavior in teens and young adults.
A few days back, United States. Republican senator Josh Hawley suggested the “Protecting Children from Abusive Games Bill” to control gaming addiction.