Next year, people who play an excessive amount of video games could find themselves diagnosed with “gaming disorder.” WHO’s beta draft of its upcoming 11th update of International Classification of Diseases characterizes gaming disorder as “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline, manifested by: 1) impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context); 2) increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and 3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.” – US News
File this one under “apocalypse”, Carol. We got ourselves a gen-u-ine crisis on our hands. This week in “how do I reach these kids”, it seems like scientists the world over have completely given up on trying to explain why people like video games and prefer digital activities to socializing, so the good folks over at the World Health Organization have decided it’d be a jolly-good idea to include “gaming disorder” as a legit, real-life, totally-not-made-up mental disorder in their upcoming 11th update to the International Classification of Diseases. That’s enough about AIDS, class – now let’s turn our textbooks to page 69 and learn about the most troubling disease of these harrowing modern times – GAMING DISORDER.
US News goes on to report that since “gaming disorder” is being officially entered into ICD-11, health care workers and doctors can officially diagnose someone with that condition. Like for real. Imagine this shit in elementary school? I’m 200 hours deep into Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, so my concerned mother whisks me away to Dr. Bornstein – he checks my temperature, bangs my knees with that little mallet, flashes a light into my eyes, and says:
“Mrs. Mahoney, I have a horrible conclusion… You’re gonna want to sit down… Your son…
…Has gaming disorder.”
In short, it’s as dumb as it sounds. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some games to play.