World Health Organization to Include Video Gaming Disorder in New ICD Revision

Jul 17, 2018

Unwrapping a new, coveted gaming console -- an Atari, N64, XBox -- on Christmas morning is a fond memory for many people. With hundreds of thousands of video games and just as much variety in their genres, it is unsurprising that video games have been able to successfully cater to so many different individuals. Dr. Michael Bordieri visits Sounds Good to discuss these games and the potential for video game addiction, or gaming disorder.

The World Health Organization recently included gaming disorder in their 11th draft revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). Gaming disorder is characterized by impaired control over gaming, increased priority of gaming (in which other interests/daily activities lose priority), and continuation or escalation of behavior despite evidence of negative consequences. The 11th revision of the ICD is set to be published mid-2018. 

There are differing opinions about the extent to which video gaming disorder can affect the average player's life. A widely spread New York Post article, published in 2016, compared video games to digital heroin and suggested that games were turning children into "psychotic junkies." However, not all video game activity should be classified as addiction, and the WHO states that the diagnosis should only be made if the behavioral patterns are significant enough to impair personal, familial, social, occupational, or educational health and if it has been evident for over 12 months. 

Dr. Michael Bordieri, psychology professor at Murray State University, visits Sounds Good to discuss these ICD revisions and how to better distinguish between a healthy and unhealthy amount of digital gaming. While some research suggests gaming disorder affects certain demographics, such as the young male, more than others, there is no concrete evidence available and all players should be consciously aware of how much time they spend on and importance they give to their digital games.