Ask veteran gamers whether it’s possible to get too hooked on a game and they might have stories of a World of Warcraft raiding buddy who used to pee in a can that lived next to his Alienware tower. Or they might confess they got so into their Zelda: Breath of the Wild playthrough that they forgot to shower. But is that sort of thing a diagnosable disorder? Yesterday, when a draft of the World Health Organization’s 2018 international classification of diseases made the rounds, readers raised an eyebrow at one entry in particular: 6D11, or “gaming disorder.” Classifying gaming as an “addictive behavior,” the WHO explains that gaming disorder looks like “impaired control over gaming,” “increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities” and “continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.” It’s been a burst of electricity through something psychologists and clinicians have hotly debated for years. 2013’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, a sort of psychologist’s bible, listed “Internet Gaming Disorder” as a condition for further study. Five years of meditation on it still has experts raising basic questions, like “What are the warning… Read full this story
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