Excessive Game Playing Has Been Termed as ‘Gaming Disorder’ by World Health Organization

The craze of playing X-Box and PlayStation is everywhere. Who doesn’t know this? Whether you’re in the United States or you’re in the United Kingdom, people of every age are crazy about gaming. Men, women, children are all equally mad for this gaming culture.

Some play it for pleasure, others play it for passing their time or they play it during their leisure. Children play it because they find it extremely exciting and somewhat daring too. And then there are some for whom gaming is a kind of do or die situation. They can play games for 24/7 and that too without getting bored.

But the actual part of gaming is that it can have both negative and positive consequences on the gamers. Some of the consequences of playing games are as follows:

Positive Consequences:

  • Playing games help in improving one’s mood e.g. makes a person happy.
  • It helps in improving a number of cognitive skills.
  • Makes a person more reasonable, and strengthens the memory and perception abilities.
  • Improves the spatial navigation ability which can further help the child in STEM sort of subjects.
  • Game playing can be helpful in getting rid of anxiety and can also help the individual with problem-solving techniques.
  • Games can also aid people in becoming resilient. Resilience towards failures during games can actually help people in real life scenarios, helping them in becoming emotionally strong and

Negative Consequences:

  • Excessive game playing can lead an individual towards procrastination.
  • Playing games can make a person violent and aggressive because of seeing the violent and excessive behavior of game characters.
  • Because of the isolation that comes with playing games, it can lead the individual towards chronic illnesses like depression.
  • Excessive playing can later in life turn into an addiction.

World Health Organization on Playing Games

“People who priorities game over their responsibilities or who don’t take the usual interest in their day to day life activities can be the victim of ‘Gaming disorder’”, says World Health Organization.

What is Gaming Disorder?

World Health Organization has now officially included excessive game playing as a ‘Gaming Disorder’ in their draft of International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).

As per the definition of World Health Organization, gaming disorder can be defined as something in which despite facing the negative ramifications of game playing, the individual doesn’t bother leaving his addiction. Something which can lead to other detrimental results later on in the life.

How can we diagnose Gaming Disorder?

Gaming disorder can be diagnosed if a person cannot focus properly on the following areas of one’s life:

  • Social
  • Occupational
  • Educational
  • Personal
  • Family life

Or other significant parts of one’s life where a person’s performance is lacking. Also, it should be noted that the symptoms should be consistent for at least a year. If someone is addicted to games for a complete year, then it can be said that the person is suffering from gaming disorder.

WHO also suggests that people who actively take part in playing games should make sure that they aren’t developing any negative attributes or they aren’t having any negative consequences because of their playing activities. Nevertheless, WHO also says that such a disorder is not really prevalent. A small number of people only get affected by such a disorder.

Gaming disorder has been included in the ICD-11, which will soon be updated in the mid of 2018, is the data that serves as an evidence that gaming can bring bad results. Also, this was done so that health professionals or doctors can start taking it as a disease and subsequently can work on the therapies for such individuals.

ICD: For identifying health conditions and diseases worldwide, International Classification of Diseases serves as the base since many practitioners or health professionals use ICD for diagnosing or categorizing conditions.


  • http://www.who.int/features/qa/gaming-disorder/en/
  • http://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/02/video-game.aspx

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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