'Gaming disorder' on iPhone & other platforms recognized by World Health Organization

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 25
The member states of the World Health Organization have voted to adopt a revised list of diseases which includes addiction to video games -- including smartphone titles -- as a mental health disorder.

Playing Fortnight on an iPhone
Playing Fortnight on an iPhone


At its 2019 annual general meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, the member countries of the World Health Organization have officially recognized an addiction to gaming on smartphones and other devices as an international disease. The World Health Assembly voted to accept the revised list, called ICD-11, which nations take into account when planning public health strategies.

"Studies suggest that gaming disorder affects only a small proportion of people who engage in digital- or video-gaming activities," said the World Health Organization in a statement. "However, people who partake in gaming should be alert to the amount of time they spend on gaming activities, particularly when it is to the exclusion of other daily activities."

"Understanding what makes people sick, and what eventually kills them, is at the core of mapping disease trends and epidemics, deciding how to programme health services, allocate healthcare spending, and invest in improving therapies and prevention," continued the World Health Organization. "ICD-11 has been updated for the 21st century and reflects critical advances in science and medicine."

Journalist Rintaro Hosokawa covered the Assembly for the Nikkei publication and reports that the organization has further defined the symptoms of the disease. "According to WHO, [sufferers] cannot control the time and frequency of playing games by themselves," said Hosokawa (in translation), "[They] give top priority to the game and continue even through the problem is happening for more than 12 months."

ICD-11, or the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, will come into effect on January 1, 2022.

The decision comes as Apple is both stepping up its Screen Time efforts to help people understand how long they spend on their iPhones, and launching its gaming Apple Arcade.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    georgie01georgie01 Posts: 248member
    Just because an addiction may have a physiological element doesn’t make it a disease. Addictions like video games are little more than a choice. A choice is not a disease. The choice may have a physical element, but resisting urges (which always has a physical element) is called self control. By saying these things are diseases we reduce the significance of choice, that ‘it’s not my fault’. The victim mindset is ruining cultures that adhere to it. It seems to me not exercising self control in the face of temptation should be considered a disease. 
    cat52watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 13
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 716member
    My problem with this article is that the link provided takes me to a page that does not have the quote indicated, nor does searching their website find the quote. Can anyone find the page?

    On another issue, my problem with this study is that there doesn't seem to be some objective measurement of the condition. Are we lay people not qualified to make the assessment? Is it really a subjective assessment in the hands of a few professionals? I mean, what does "to the exclusion of other daily activities" mean? Which activities? Is this a totally subjective disease?

    On another issue, could an American (I am not American) living with this disease be denied access to a gun?
    urahara
  • Reply 3 of 13
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,680member
    I'm pretty sure that the guy who died in an internet cafe somewhere in Asia after playing for 5 days straight had some sort of addiction. :#
    pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 13
    georgie01 said:
    Just because an addiction may have a physiological element doesn’t make it a disease. Addictions like video games are little more than a choice. A choice is not a disease. The choice may have a physical element, but resisting urges (which always has a physical element) is called self control. By saying these things are diseases we reduce the significance of choice, that ‘it’s not my fault’. The victim mindset is ruining cultures that adhere to it. It seems to me not exercising self control in the face of temptation should be considered a disease. 
    I was recently at a seminar that touched upon the matter of addiction and I was surprised to learn that there is, actually, a psychological basis for computational addiction and that there is even a diagnosis in the DSM-V on the matter. The doctor speaking explained that only some individuals are at risk but that for some people simply looking at pictures of video games (he pointed out "Minecraft" and "Fortnight" in particular) could result in massive dopamine spikes. And, assuming that
    apple ][ said:
    I'm pretty sure that the guy who died in an internet cafe somewhere in Asia after playing for 5 days straight had some sort of addiction. :#
    is true, it can have some pretty detrimental effects. That obviously seems like an extreme case, bordering on the impossible, but the fact remains that there is a grounded psychological basis for addiction to all sorts of things, even things that we normally wouldn't expect.
    planetary paulspice-boy
  • Reply 5 of 13
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,162member
    Well, they sued the tobacco companies, and they sued the drug companies, and they sued the car makers, and they sued liquor makers. so here come the lawsuits claiming  insidious addiction caused by smartphone makers. It’s only a matter of time before warning labels are mandated on all mobile devices. Maybe they’ll ban their advertisement on television. Sound radical, even delusional. Wait, you’ll see.
  • Reply 6 of 13
    RhythmagicRhythmagic Posts: 43unconfirmed, member
    That’s bullshiz. They just want another way to make money. Life is a game. 
  • Reply 7 of 13
    netroxnetrox Posts: 744member
    About time, it's not just gaming disorder but also internet addiction.... I am tired of my internet addiction.
  • Reply 8 of 13
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 333member
    apple ][ said:
    I'm pretty sure that the guy who died in an internet cafe somewhere in Asia after playing for 5 days straight had some sort of addiction. :#
    Hehehehe how about stupidities...if I were the parent of that guy, i will weep his A and drag him out of that hole...that means 5 days w/o showering too, hahaha
  • Reply 9 of 13
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 837member
    lkrupp said:
    Well, they sued the tobacco companies, and they sued the drug companies, and they sued the car makers, and they sued liquor makers. so here come the lawsuits claiming  insidious addiction caused by smartphone makers. It’s only a matter of time before warning labels are mandated on all mobile devices. Maybe they’ll ban their advertisement on television. Sound radical, even delusional. Wait, you’ll see.
    Oh the poor, poor tobacco, drug, and liquor makers, none of their products have been proven to be or possess addictive chemicals right? You are fortunate that you have no family members or apparently never met anyone with any of those addictions or you might have a clue to how deadly these are. 
  • Reply 10 of 13
    1st1st Posts: 372member
    Isn't Asia has special event for those guys and everybody pay arms and legs to attend? Even special trip organised from NA. (Japan, Korea tour).  
  • Reply 12 of 13
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 358member
    georgie01 said:
    Just because an addiction may have a physiological element doesn’t make it a disease. Addictions like video games are little more than a choice. A choice is not a disease. The choice may have a physical element, but resisting urges (which always has a physical element) is called self control. By saying these things are diseases we reduce the significance of choice, that ‘it’s not my fault’. The victim mindset is ruining cultures that adhere to it. It seems to me not exercising self control in the face of temptation should be considered a disease. 
    You're mistaking addiction for a choice (and then there are dependencies - that's a whole other thing!)

    It may start as a choice, but by the time it is an addiction it can be overwhelmingly difficult to change. With most addictions it is a chemical change in the brain. There can be serious withdrawal symptoms that can be life threatening.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24769172

    I'm curious if they're saying that video game addiction is to that level.
  • Reply 13 of 13
    georgie01 said:
    Just because an addiction may have a physiological element doesn’t make it a disease. Addictions like video games are little more than a choice. A choice is not a disease. The choice may have a physical element, but resisting urges (which always has a physical element) is called self control. By saying these things are diseases we reduce the significance of choice, that ‘it’s not my fault’. The victim mindset is ruining cultures that adhere to it. It seems to me not exercising self control in the face of temptation should be considered a disease. 
    Given that actual doctors, people who've studied the addiction phenomenon for years, consider it to be a disease suggests that you are wrong.

    The addiction might start with a choice, but that doesn't change the fact that the resulting addiction is, in face, a disease.

    I know I'm not going to change any minds on this subject, so feel free to have the last word.
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