There Is Such a Thing As “Gaming Disorder”


gaming disorder

I’m sure there’s a name for making disorders up, and there’s no lack of these made-up conditions, for sure.

Take “gaming disorder”, for example.

What kind of condition is that? Couldn’t they have been more creative in choosing a name?

Turns out there is no need for creativity at all, for “gaming disorder” is a real thing – and it’s basically what it says on the tin.

At least according to the World Health Organization.

In its list  “International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11)”, the WHO has added Gaming Disorder under the category “Disorders due to substance use or addictive behaviours “.

Gambling Disorder falls under the same category.

So what are the specific characteristics of Gaming Disorder?

Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline, manifested by:

1) impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context);

2) increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and

3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.

Ask yourself. Has gaming taken over your life? Have you been unable to function normally (actually work, have conversations with your family and friends, see the sunlight…)?

Of course, just because you may have experienced some of the symptoms above doesn’t mean you have Gaming Disorder, so don’t go around using it as an excuse to be irresponsible. You’ll still need an official diagnosis.

In the meantime, as they say, game responsibly. 😉

You may also be interested in: 500 Years Later: An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII

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