Could too much video gaming be a sign of poor mental health?
According to a U.S. News and World Report, excessive video gaming will be added to the World Health Organization's beta draft of the 11th update of International Classification of Diseases.
The beta draft lists "gaming disorder" as a disorder due to addictive behaviors. Thursday, a WHO representative told NEWS CENTER that the decision is in essence a way to get with the times.
"Use of the internet, computers, smartphones and other electronic devices has dramatically increased over recent decades. While the increase is associated with clear benefits to users, for example in real-time information exchange, health problems as a result of excessive use have also been documented. In a number of countries, the problem has become a significant public health concern," the statement read.
WHO listed this description of gaming disorder: Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior ('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.
Some people have questioned WHO's decision.
Others like, Matthew Herbert, of Clifton, believe it will help people dealing with gaming addiction.
"I feel that at least now people can have a chance of talking about it with there doctors," Hebert said.
Hebert says his gaming addiction nearly costed him his marriage.
Brain Sessums, of Texas, says his gaming put a strain on his now failed marriage:
He says it wasn't until he put the games away, and make other lifestyle changes, that he began to feel real happiness.
The World Health Organization's announcement doesn't mean that people who like to play a lot of video games have a mental disorder. Instead it would make provisions for people who are being "controlled" by the games they are playing to receive medical attention.