Sunday, 26 May 2019

"Gaming Disorder" Now A Recognized Illness According To World Health Organization

quote [ The World Health Organization has decided to add gaming disorder to its list of recognized illnesses. The 194 members of the group made the decision today at the 72nd World Health Assembly. ]

We all play video games
[SFW] [health] [+4 Good]
[by ScoobySnacks@5:04amGMT]


cb361 said @ 11:34am GMT on 26th May [Score:1 Good]
Bought an extra steam key for The Final Station by mistake. ANJRP-ZL9EI-M5E54 , if anybody wants it.
Seneki said @ 10:59pm GMT on 26th May
Cheers! I had my eye on that!
arrowhen said @ 12:28am GMT on 27th May
Is this a cry for help?
rylex said[1] @ 2:41am GMT on 27th May
looks more like a cry for thanks!

gamer cries for help go largely unheaded in /ooc chat
theRed said @ 3:25am GMT on 28th May
Doesn't this seem like a potential outcome of mental illness/imbalance rather than an illness itself?

I say that as someone who probably meets the criteria laid out here for "Gaming disorder".
mechanical contrivance said @ 1:12pm GMT on 28th May
Yeah, it seems like gaming disorder is more of a symptom than a disease.
Dienes said @ 7:37pm GMT on 29th May [Score:1 Insightful]
If you review mental health diagnoses in the DSM (and the increasing number that appear in the ICD), the disorder and its diagnostic criteria are nearly entirely a list of various behaviors. There are some exceptions, such as traumatic brain injury requiring a physical injury, but the vast majority of disorders are just a list of what people might consider 'symptoms.'

The DSM (and ICD, in these cases) just provides a label for different clusters or patterns of responses. They aren't identifying the causes of these behavioral disorders, just like a diagnosis of ADHD doesn't require medication evaluations or brain scans.

Even what most people consider 'physiological' addictions are still just behaviors. You might experience withdrawal symptoms if you are an alcoholic and go a long time without drinking, but 1) there are alcoholics that don't experience these physiological symptoms, or don't experience them strongly or consistently, and 2) believe it or not, some of these 'non-physical' addictions can exhibit physiological 'withdrawal' symptoms as well. The only real difference is our level of empathy for the addict - people seem more inclined to forgive or support some addicts over others.

Addictions are behavior excesses that are driven by escapism and hits of dopamine, and operate through operant and classical conditioning. You see it in alcohol, cocaine, gambling, and gaming. The underlying process is the same. The behavior excess IS the disease. When they no longer exhibit the excess, we say they are cured.

steele said[1] @ 1:51pm GMT on 28th May
Dienes would probably be better suited for this discussion, but it's really no different than a gambling disorder. (Because that's what gaming is.) Anyone can be vulnerable to it, it's just about being caught up in a system that leverages behavioral reinforcement reward systems using symbols and metaphors that resonate with the player. Sure some people may be more vulnerable to a specific style of exploitation, but that's no more of a underlying personal imbalance than someone that becomes addicted to GoT over The Bachelor or Jeopardy. These games, whether WoW or Slot Machines (or social media) are designed in a way to be a addictive; To push your buttons, draw you in, and keep you coming back. It's not some underlying illness that this is a symptom of, it's literally what they're made to do. Now if you want to discuss about whether our materialistic, vapid, stress and fear filled society makes someone more likely to be vulnerable to these games in general, well then you might be on to something.

edit: That's not o say some people aren't more vulnerable than others; I do know there are drugs out there with a side effect of obsessive gambling. But sweeping this all under the rug as some sort of individual issue ignores that there is an entire industry built on leveraging, magnifying, and abusing these behaviors.
Paracetamol said[2] @ 7:43pm GMT on 28th May [Score:1 Good]
Addictions have, by definition, an impact on your life. One could argue that with games, there are two aspects to it:

First, the whole app store/lootbox schemes (before the internet, it was the helpline), which can turn out like literal gambling, sucking off money and impacting you financially.

Opposed to this is the "getting lost in digital worlds" meaning, impacting social life, not necessarily financially. If I get the article right, it's about this second aspect. Which, while apparent in other media is characterized by the "chronoslip" moments in games which most people probably can relate to.
snowfox said @ 6:15pm GMT on 28th May
I don't think it's our society. I think it's in our DNA. We were gatherer hunters (way more gathering than hunting). We see OCD as a problem (and it can become problematic), but its features are important to grooming and to carefully gathering food for hours at a time. We all have obsessive-compulsive needs to fulfill. We still want to pick nits and berries on a primal level, and games give us an outlet to do that. They are hardly the first diversion that satisfies this urge. Sewing cute little phrases into the pillows, collecting buttons, gardening, these are all deeply repetitive activities that satisfy our need to do something of that nature.
Dienes said @ 7:40pm GMT on 29th May
Exactly. Its all a matter of degree. Every disorder is a case of a behavior or behaviors that is occurring at one of the tails of the bell curve.
steele said @ 8:34pm GMT on 29th May
I'm not saying society causes it, but rather that it probably exacerbates what we get hooked on. There's been studies showing links between cortisol and gambling along with at least one (which I'm having trouble finding) showing that the combination of cortisol and adrenaline can push people to fall back on old habits; I think it was overeating and gambling that they observed.
snowfox said @ 9:43pm GMT on 29th May
Good point.

I think that ship may have sailed when we began picking out pretty stones and shiny bits of metal... and then killing eachother for their perceived value. Our modern society has become more efficient at generating pretty stones of sorts and distributing them on a mass scale. It was inevitable.

That we have a story like The Midas Touch suggests we've known about addiction to acquisition (whether it's the act of collecting or the act of keeping the collection) for a long time and it's been pretty bad news the entire time we've been aware of it.

The increased efficiency does make it worse in the sense that we went from poppies, to opium, to heroin in terms of the pretty stones. There must be an upper limit though. We only have so many receptors, meaning you can only become so addicted... at least until we find a way to drastically change the number of receptors or their ability to be activated (selective reuptake inhibitors come to mind as a possibility but not my area of expertise).

If we have any neurobiologists and pharma chemists on here, their discussion on these mechanisms would be super interesting.
snowfox said @ 6:10pm GMT on 28th May
I think it's reasonable. I would use similar criteria to gambling addiction. You can probably do this with anything. If it's negatively impacting your finances, you ability to attend school/hold down a job, negatively impacting your personal relationships, otherwise slowly devouring your life, and you feel compelled to do it even if you know it brings you ruin... that's probably an addiction.

It would then lump in with all other addiction disorders.

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