Computer game addiction, officially recognized as a disease since 2022
The World Health Organization (WHO) revised the classification of diseases back in 2018. There, computer game addiction was included for the first time. Since it is an international document, it is listed there under "Gaming Disorder". Consequently, it is a disease that requires treatment. Withdrawal from social life is also related to this phenomenon. To declare computer games themselves a problem is wrong. However, the right way to deal with it must certainly be questioned critically. But some experts do not welcome the classification of computer game addiction as a disease. They see "gambling" more as a symptom.
The computer game industry is not exactly thrilled with the new classification either. To make matters worse, the classification takes effect in the middle of the Corona pandemic. Two things are now coming together. On the one hand, excessive computer gaming can quickly be interpreted, even falsely, as an illness. On the other hand, social contacts, especially for young people, are not possible to the same extent. Sports clubs may be closed. Dates fall flat because of contact restrictions. And even going to the movies with friends is viewed critically in the current situation. It is, therefore, all the more important to emphasize that not everyone who regularly sits at the computer and plays games immediately has an addiction problem. So, if you like playing games or casinos, check our site for more information about Blackjack in India or other casinos.
The classification of gaming disorder as a disease can be looked up at the WHO.
What is the argument for classifying computer gaming addiction as a disease?
First of all, the classification of computer gaming addiction as a disease brings it more into the public eye. The WHO has named the symptoms in the catalog. It is the loss of control over the game. Those who start frequently, can't stop, play for too long or find the game excessively intense show the first sign of Gaming Disorder. Similarly, if gambling is prioritized over other, actually more essential life interests. On top of that, computer game addiction is characterized by the fact that it is not a one-time occurrence, but a recurring behavior. However, experts do not only complain about excessive gaming. The focus is also on media use itself. Children, adolescents, and young adults can increasingly lose themselves in social networks, chat groups, or other virtual worlds.
In this sense, classification as a disease is useful. If excessive gaming is recognized, countermeasures can be taken. Children and teenagers would then have to participate more in club life. This could be sports clubs, the volunteer fire department, or other activities. The focus here is on cooperation with other people. Minors in particular lose something in their personal development if they do not maintain contact. Everyday social skills would be left behind as a result. The fact that computer game addiction is classified as a disease also helps to provide those affected with help in the form of counseling or addiction programs. They are given advice and recommendations. On top of that, it is possible to arrange regular meetings to monitor the progress of the treatment.
Corona and computer game addiction: Currently, of course, it is paradoxical. Children were not allowed to go to school at times. They were not allowed to have contact with various classmates or comrades. Nevertheless, parents had to work and still fill in as teachers. Somehow, the young generation still had to keep themselves busy. TVs, smartphones, computers, and Playstations were therefore welcome companions. For children and young people to gamble less, adults must provide the opportunity to do so.
What is the argument against classifying computer game addiction as a disease?
A stigma could be created. Computer gaming would be negatively charged. It is first and foremost a hobby, just like any other. The gaming industry is naturally annoyed by the classification of computer game addiction as a disease. Within an open letter, 28 psychologists complain about the inclusion as a disease. What particularly stands out from the argumentation is that computer game addiction may not be a disease in its own right, but rather a symptom. From their point of view, research has not yet been completed here. Currently, excessive computer or console gaming would possibly be a consequence of the Corona pandemic. Whether excessive use will continue even after the pandemic has ended remains to be seen. In the case of media addiction, it is often social anxiety or depression that is thought to be the cause. There are reasons for the original stress. Addictions are only the symptom here.
But experts also agree that children and young people need to sharpen their social skills. If excessive playing on the computer or excessive media consumption causes contact with friends in the real world to suffer, parents should take countermeasures. This can be done by setting fixed playtimes. Depending on the age of the children and the working hours of the parents, however, control may be difficult. But addiction is not only characterized by excessive use. Does someone who reads 400 pages a day suffer from a book addiction? Or is someone who watches four episodes of their favorite show a day addicted to television? Such diseases do not exist. Computer game addiction has officially existed since 2022.
Escape from reality: If gamers escape from reality by gambling, this is of course not behavior worthy of support. Rather, it is necessary to face the problems of the real world. Those who then gamble for relaxation are welcome to regard this as a hobby when used normally.