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The WHO May Recognize Excessive Video Gaming As Mental Health Disorder (cbsnews.com) 125

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CBS News: The World Health Organization is poised to classify "gaming disorder" as a mental health problem in its 2018 update of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Gaming disorder could be diagnosed if a person's video game habit "is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning," according a tentative draft of WHO's 11th update to the ICD. Licensed marriage and family therapist Paula-Jo Husack said common symptoms for children and adults include social isolation, trouble transitioning from one thought to another, reduction in empathy, loss of appetite and loss of sensory perception. The WHO said those symptoms generally need to persist for at least a year before doctors diagnose a case of gaming disorder, but added that a diagnosis could be made sooner if symptoms are severe.
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The WHO May Recognize Excessive Video Gaming As Mental Health Disorder

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  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Thursday December 28, 2017 @06:33AM (#55820809)

    AKA “The Kids Aren’t Alright”.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday December 28, 2017 @06:48AM (#55820857)

    I mean, while we're at it, could we add clinging excessively to "social" media and constant gawking at your damn phone? I mean, the latter has a good chance of sorting itself out when you do it in halfway decent traffic, but the former does become an issue.

    • I mean, while we're at it, could we add clinging excessively to "social" media and constant gawking at your damn phone?

      If only 10% of society were horribly addicted to social media who cannot be separated from their smartphones and electronic devices they abuse every waking hour of the day, then the other 90% of society would have no problem identifying the 10% as addicts who are harming themselves and others.

      The REAL problem is we now have a society where 90% of people are horribly addicted to social media, who cannot be separated from their smartphones and electronic devices they abuse every waking hour of the day. It's

      • Caffeine addiction is going to work itself out. Every year the harvest for coffee is less while at the same time more people are drinking it.

        The coffee wars will make the oil wars look boring .

      • by ffkom ( 3519199 )

        It's like trying to tell society we have a problem with caffeine addiction. When damn near everyone is an addict, no one sees a problem.

        Indeed, being one amongst the minority of people who are not caffeine addicted is sometimes weird: You constantly hear people talk of how they need their next caffeine shot to get up in the morning or to overcome the terrible headache they feel.

        But if you tell them: "Well, these are withdrawal symptoms, you might want to try ending your abuse of caffeine, and you'll find those symptoms will go away after a while and not return" they will look at you as if you just arrived from another planet.

        In comparis

        • by Whibla ( 210729 )

          Turning an analogy into, and please forgive the use of this 'word' - it does occasionally serve a useful purpose, whataboutery is probably counterproductive.

          Sure we, either personally or as society as a whole, have problems with addictions to other things and they can be terribly destructive, but bringing them into a discussion about the problems caused specifically by addiction to video gaming is a distraction.

          A distraction from the fact that it is increasingly a problem (for the, very good, reasons given

          • Sure we, either personally or as society as a whole, have problems with addictions to other things and they can be terribly destructive, but bringing them into a discussion about the problems caused specifically by addiction to video gaming is a distraction.

            Au contraire, my friend. We need to acknowledge, compare, sort, prioritize, then act on ALL of them, according to their final classification, therefore bringing other addictions into a discussion about a particular addiction, if done properly, could help realize the subject at hand is less important than others.

            • We need to acknowledge, compare, sort, prioritize, then act on ALL of them, according to their final classification[...]

              No. No, we do not need to do that.

              Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness... Leave me to my chosen vices.

              • I never said anything about stopping you from any vices, God forbid. I'm an avid gamer myself.
                It was all about being able to discuss them, and you can't discuss them unless you have enough data to pit them against each other and see which one is more likely to fuck you up.

        • It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

        • I drink large amounts of coffee but find it quite manageable to stop for a few days or even week. You do feel sluggish, but terrible headaches is on the extreme end of the scale. Perhaps the people you hear complaining are also on something else.

          "In comparison to caffeine, ethanol, nicotine, video games are certainly one of the least of our problems."

          I'm not sure what you meant by that, but the addictive properties of nicotine compared to caffeine are off the scale. If you ever smoked and want to b
      • As much as I'm a fan of the Darwin Awards, common sense dictates we shouldn't allow that problem to merely sort itself out because innocent victims are often hurt and killed.

        I think the term you're looking for is collateral damage.

        Evolution isn't about who is right. It's about who is left.

        • As much as I'm a fan of the Darwin Awards, common sense dictates we shouldn't allow that problem to merely sort itself out because innocent victims are often hurt and killed.

          I think the term you're looking for is collateral damage.

          Evolution isn't about who is right. It's about who is left.

          Collateral damage is a metric used by military leaders in a warzone. It's not fitting for everyday life, and I highly doubt either of us would be that casual about it if a distracted driver hurt or killed a beloved family member.

          Evolution is also about learning. We should learn to punish those who create innocent victims to help create a valid deterrent and minimize the damage. Doing nothing showcases stupidity and ignorance, which is not progress.

          • Sorry, but learning has not really anything to do with evolution itself. Evolution doesn't happen to individuals, it happens to populations. And as we have learned from Men In Black, one person is smart, people are panicky, illogical animals.

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      Nah that's acceptable remember? And if you're not on facebook feeding it all your personal info you're a crazy loon too. Just like the trans movement to normalize getting your junk cut off is acceptable, and pushing 4yr olds to transition to another gender. It's all fine, it's not a disorder at all, it's healthy and acceptable! 20-30hrs gaming? Nah, not acceptable. But if you spend 40hrs/week on social meedia whining over drama? All acceptable too.

      This entire pile of bullshit is going to come crashing

      • I propose that Bos Taurus Fecal Disorder be added to the DSM, as well. Too many people simply can not pull themselves away from bullshit.

        Hell, I'll present myself as the first case study, even, since I can't seem to leave this site.
    • by lazarus ( 2879 )

      Right. Did they also classify excessive television watching as a disorder? Because THAT hasn't done great things for people's health over the years...

    • I mean, while we're at it, could we add clinging excessively to "social" media and constant gawking at your damn phone? I mean, the latter has a good chance of sorting itself out when you do it in halfway decent traffic, but the former does become an issue.

      Because gaming is largely a male thing, and smartphone addiction is more of a female thing. You did see the claimant's qualification as a marriage counseler - so right away, the matter and viewpoint is a little skewed.

      But yes, a lot of males have immersed themselves in gaming, Trying to call it a mental illness is just a way to punish them for a harmless interest.

      • So... Our solution to the whole problem of polygamy and warfare [slashdot.org] was to simply keep the otherwise unmateable males occupied playing in their basements.

        What exactly is bad about this?

        • So... Our solution to the whole problem of polygamy and warfare [slashdot.org] was to simply keep the otherwise unmateable males occupied playing in their basements.

          What exactly is bad about this?

          Or problem with the reversing education levels 6:4 in favor of women, and increasing number of males not considered good enough to marry and I see polygamy as a possible future here as women can't find enough men that match them in quality to procreate with. I think the problem is that the substandard males are not supposed to enjoy their low status, so gaming needs to go.

          • So we want people to be miserable for ... what exactly?

            • So we want people to be miserable for ... what exactly?

              Misery loves company?

              It is kind of a mess out there.Bear with me as I set the situation.

              With the widening education gap, more and more educated women are not finding quality males to pair with.. So they reach their mid-30's and panic. The urge to reproduce is not a social construct. So they freeze some eggs for when Mr Right comes along. But they have a list of requirements for mister Right. He must be equal or higher in education, and making at least as much money as her. There are some strange ones

    • Remember when excessive reading was an anti-social type of personality disorder? Books corrupting our children's minds and tearing them away from social lives and good, hard work.

      150 years ago, psychologists testified to Congress that a public school system would damage the fragile minds of small children, whose neurons weren't designed to handle that kind of massive data overload. Pulling them away from play time and the development of personal responsibility on the farm around age 10-13 would further

      • Well, looking at public schools, I can't really dismiss their claim easily...

        • Merely a procedural issue. We need to import knowledge from all over the world and model America after the state-of-the-art curricula seen in more-successful school systems. Then we can improve on it, becoming the world leader in public education.

          • Maybe start by tossing teaching fairy tales as if they had something to do with reality.

            Once you've done this, we'll take care of the details.

            • I was thinking we'd start with basic arithmetic, looking to Japan's use of the soroban as a teaching tool and the method in which students learn basic mathematics. By third grade, these students can perform rapid mental addition and subtraction on large sets of numbers with floating decimal points; and with a memorized single-digit multiplication table, they can perform rapid multi-digit multiplication and subtraction. In the United States, we work up to multi-digit addition and subtraction, with decimal

              • Fact learning and rote learning is useless. Simple and plainly. we live in a world where you have EVERY fact you might want to know available to you, easily and quickly. Everyone has basically a tool in his pocket that lets him access the largest libraries. So it is more useless than it ever was to soak up data, pour it onto the test and forget it instantly afterwards, which has been the staple of "learning" for us for the past decades, if not centuries.

                What we'd have to teach is rather how to get informati

                • Actually, rote is useful for setting the baseline. For example, you can memorize a multiplication table by brute force so as to avoid extra time (and short-term memory distortion) when performing rapid mathematics in your head. I find this somewhat more-useful than getting out the calculator on my phone (especially when I'm driving or giving a presentation). Beyond that, most rote memorization occurs by dynamic need: you learn by understanding, and any facts you repeatedly access eventually move into y

                  • tl;dr Version: If you do something a lot, you're gonna be better at it than someone who doesn't.

                    • It's not even that. I have information from a lot of diverse fields--I get bored and stuff new facts into my head. I end up coming up with different solutions to problems than everyone else because the obvious approaches are different in that context--mind you, many of the obvious approaches are wrong, and I usually chew through a few ideas before finding something that actually works.

                      My analogical thinking is the same as your analogical thinking; it's just preloaded with more stuff.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      It's early yet, but I think we'll eventually link social media and gaming related problems in ways we haven't even thought of yet.

      We are deeply social animals, but we have created artificial systems which mediate our interactions with each other and in some cases, supplant them. That's an enormous change for us, but the hallmark of our species is behavioral diversity; that's what allows human populations to adapt. So it's almost a certainty that with a change of this magnitudesome of us will do just fine

  • "Smart" phone addiction. These pathetic retards can't put them down for even 2 minutes.
    • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Thursday December 28, 2017 @07:32AM (#55820971)

      "Smart" phone addiction. These pathetic retards can't put them down for even 2 minutes.

      Smartphone addiction is so prevalent in society that your common sense suggestion was modded down. That's sad.

      90% of society is a smartphone addict. When everyone acts the same, no one sees a problem, and attacks those that do point out the obvious.

      And yes, I'll likely be modded down as well.

  • The same busybody politicians that said reading novels was a vice in the 1700s or watching too much TV was an addiction in the 60s have now moved on to video games (in the 1990s, it started in earnest with Mortal Kombat, thank you Midway) and more recently, social media. While your mother was right (whether it was 1965 or 2005) to say "Moderation in all things." video games are no more or less a problem than any other hobby. If you let any one thing consume your life, it can become bad for you and cause p

    • Exactly! Isn't obsessive-compulsive behavior already classified as a mental problem?

      • Actually, I think OCD has been declassified as a disorder. Now it's just part of a spectrum of behavior.

        Many of the afflicted refer to it as CDO with the acronym in alphabetical order the way it is _supposed_ to go.
    • by N_Piper ( 940061 )
      The WHO are a bunch of dimwits who still think circumcision has benefits and named Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador, I wrote them off years ago.
  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Thursday December 28, 2017 @07:00AM (#55820889)

    Now that deaf, dumb and blind kid also has a mental disorder? It's tough being a Pinball Wizard.

  • by darthsilun ( 3993753 ) on Thursday December 28, 2017 @07:15AM (#55820919)
    And making over $100K a year. Then it's okay.
    • by wbr1 ( 2538558 )
      Then it IS an occupation, not interfering with one. In our society it is okay for an occupation to interfere with everything else (health, relationships, etc).
      • Then it IS an occupation, not interfering with one. In our society it is okay for an occupation to interfere with everything else (health, relationships, etc).

        I agree that health should always be considered a priority, but when it comes to "relationships", it's going to be rather hard to listen to the look-at-me generation of social media narcissists complain about that one gamer family member who doesn't spend enough time with them and has a "problem", as they sit on the other side of the room with their face buried in a smartphone, showcasing their own addiction.

  • Hmm... Some of those symptoms (especially the social problems) certainly remind me of periods when I was spending too much time playing computer games, but I rarely played any games that I would describe as "video games". I remember a period with rogue (or hack?) and another period where I was split between a game called Backbone on Ubuntu and a Windows game whose name I can't remember just now... I'm also remembering another game called larn? I feel like it was somehow a reverse version of rogue?

    Was loss o

  • by ei4anb ( 625481 ) on Thursday December 28, 2017 @08:19AM (#55821139)
    recognized Pinball Wizard since 1969
  • Isn't loner already covered?

  • by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Thursday December 28, 2017 @09:25AM (#55821493)
    is religion, especially religious extremism & religious fundamentalism, now those kinds of people prove to the world they are crazy everyday and most the world turn a blind eye to it, afraid to acknowledge the insanity these people display everyday
    • by mark-t ( 151149 )

      And what, pray-tell, do you suggest to do to treat it, or to at least manage it? How does such classification help anyone?

      You can't deprive a person of their religion like you can deprive them of alcohol, smartphones, or any thing else that has a material existence.

      And just think about it for just a second... how do you imagine it might make things any better if it was classified as a mental illness? What good do you imagine it might do? I mean, if you think that they WHO should classify it as a m

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        And what, pray-tell, do you suggest to do to treat it, or to at least manage it? How does such classification help anyone? You can't deprive a person of their religion like you can deprive them of alcohol, smartphones, or any thing else that has a material existence. And just think about it for just a second... how do you imagine it might make things any better if it was classified as a mental illness? What good do you imagine it might do? I mean, if you think that they WHO should classify it as a mental illness, then you personally probably already treat it like one yourself, so what difference does it make if the WHO were to acknowledge it as such other than perhaps to justify your own feelings?

        We have many psychological conditions like say Alzheimer that can't be meaningfully treated, that's not a prerequisite for a diagnosis. Classifying something as a sickness is something that can be used and abused in many contexts though. For example until the 10th revision homosexuality was a disorder, it's no more concrete or treatable than belief in the supernatural. Your assertion that it wouldn't matter seems blissfully naive and ignorant of history.

        • by mark-t ( 151149 )

          Of course Alzheimer's can be treated... it jujst can't be cured. Currently, we treat it by putting the people with the most severe cases in specialized care facilities so that they do not harm themselves or others. Such care is not cheap.

          Who would be willing to pay for such facilities to treat a case of "being religious"?

          And if nobody is willing to pay for the necessary care to treat the disorder, then what good does it do to classify it as one?

    • Freedom of religion is guaranteed under the UN convention of human rights. Did you forget that one, Adolf? Or maybe you just wanted to exercise your vile islamophobia in public. Either way, back to your hole, disgusting troll.
  • "...social isolation, trouble transitioning from one thought to another, reduction in empathy, loss of appetite and loss of sensory perception."

    depends on the people and the day, check, neg, check, neg. 2.5 for 3 means i'm fine, right?

    Right guys?
    • by h4x0t ( 1245872 )
      Trouble relaying numbers correctly isnt a symptom. Shut up.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm pretty sure reduction in empathy is a byproduct of interaction with other people. Most of the time other people seem perfectly fine until you actually talk to them, at which point you wonder why you bothered.

  • by wardrich86 ( 4092007 ) on Thursday December 28, 2017 @09:27AM (#55821513)
    Is excessive gaming any different from any other excessive _____ situation? I think they have a name for that... addiction
    • Is excessive gaming any different from any other excessive _____ situation? I think they have a name for that... addiction

      Always consider the source. A marriage Counselor/Family Therapist as being the expert on mental disorders?

      This is just going to be fodder for the traditional complaints of "He doesn't spend time with me!" complaints. Only now turning it into mental illness, so they can put the guy on some control meds.

      We can substitute "she" or "lady" as needed, for he or guy.

      • About that... I'm wondering when "spending time with me" became the norm, the standard?

        • About that... I'm wondering when "spending time with me" became the norm, the standard?

          Oh, just one of those things. I think its the "tinkering module" being activated. Whatever the present state is, it doesn't satisfy, and must change. My better half gets annoyed when I am around her too much. But I know that I can't be around too little as well. It's kind of a calculus.

          disclaimer - I am a very annoying person to begin with.

    • Loot Boxes. Yes, it's just addiction. But there's a new(ish) method to exploit those addicts using gambling techniques.
  • Those symptoms sound an awful lot like Asperger's... Have to wonder if the gaming is actually the effect rather than the cause in some cases.

  • Reading.
    Watching TV.
    Playing Golf.
    Football.
    American Football.
    Board Games.
    Hobbyist Mathematics.

    Pretty much anything that takes your time away from "productive" (for someone else, most likely) labor.
    Because the only sane position is to spend your life in the endless pursuit of wealth. Any other value assignment is madness!

  • Generally people with mental disorders re pretty unhappy. I know a lot of gamers, and they aren't unhappy about it at all. They can get pretty animated at times during gameplay, but that sure isn't unhappiness, that's competitive instincts.

    On the other hand, I have seen some marked changes in mental state after some people become addicted to their smartphones and social media, And not positive changes

    • I’ve known a couple people with severe ADHD that were actually pretty happy while they were off their meds - it was those of us around them who would be going nuts (maybe not the best choice of words in this context). They felt “fine”, which made it very hard to convince them they weren’t actually doing okay.

      • I’ve known a couple people with severe ADHD that were actually pretty happy while they were off their meds - it was those of us around them who would be going nuts (maybe not the best choice of words in this context). They felt “fine”, which made it very hard to convince them they weren’t actually doing okay.

        The psychoactive drugs aren't there to make them happy. They are there to level them. We had a young guy who was an intern - his father worked there and we were doing this as a favor. Anyhow, he was ADHD. We all loved the kid, striking intelligence, very friendly, enthusiastic, and he was pretty smart in all things personal computing.

        But he never got a freaking thing done. He simply couldn't stay focused on anything long enough. Really frustrating.

        He had such potential - I hope he got leveled to the p

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday December 28, 2017 @11:02AM (#55822209)
    surprised nobody here mentioned it yet. If you're wondering why we're suddenly talking about gaming addiction again there's your answer. The game industry noticed the addicts and is exploiting them. And a lot of those addicts are kids.
    • That's because it is gambling addiction, not gaming addiction. The WHO just lost a bunch of credibility in my books. Is gambling a form of gaming? Well yes, but not all gaming is gambling either.

      I'd often wondered if I play so much Ability Draft in DOTA2 because I like the random element and drafting the best "hand" so to speak. If I'm not rolling the dice and gambling each game and that is what keeps bringing me back... Or maybe it is just fun and I enjoy it, I dunno.

  • Am I the only one who feels like the W.H.O. is more of a political organization with an agenda than it is anything to do with actual medicine and health?
  • If I game for X hours a day it's a Mental Disorder ?

    People do many things to escape reality, often for hours at a time. ( Game, read, watch a movie, hobbies, etc. )

    When the world is as fucked up as it is, I can't say I blame anyone for wanting some time away from it for a while.

    • It's the same as alcoholics. For most people alcohol isn't a problem. Even getting totally smashed on occasion isn't a problem (at least not a mental health one). And yet for some individuals it becomes an addiction and a serious problem. Same thing with games. It is also important to realise here that not all games are the same. Many types of games aren't addictive, which I think is why a lot of people are laughing this off. Nobody is going to end up addicted to Uncharted or Mass Effect for example. Most m

  • Most gamers are male. Most of those escape reality because reality is very shitty alternative. Gaming addiction is not problem, its more of a symptom. It's like constipation. Bad on it's own, but not caused by itself. We need to solve problems of society before even trying to approach to tackling this issue. It's like trying to cure person of depression, where all things that caused depression are still there. Lack of jobs and relationships due to Feminazzi society of western world - is easily the cause h
  • i knew i didnt like that band

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