World health organization (WHO) will establish addiction to play games as a mental disorder. Based on the 11th international disease classification document (International Classified Disease / ICD) issued by WHO, this disorder is called gaming disorder.
Gaming disorder by WHO is described as a persistent and repetitive behavior of playing games, thus ignoring other life’s interests. The symptoms can be characterized by three behaviors.
First and foremost, a person with a gaming disorder will play games excessively, both in terms of frequency, duration, and intensity. The second symptom, people with gaming disorder also prioritize playing games. Until finally the third symptom appears, which is to continue the game even though the person is conscious if symptoms or negative effects on the body begin to appear.
Based on guidance from WHO, healing disorder gaming disorder must be done for approximately 12 months through the direction of a psychiatrist. However, if the disorder is very severe, treatment may last longer.
Determination of gaming disorder as one of the mental disorders was welcomed by a technology addiction specialist from Nightgale Hospital in London, Richard Graham. According to him, excessive gaming behavior is supposed to get serious medical treatment.
Graham added that so far he had seen 50 cases of digital addiction each year. These criteria are based on the influence of addictions which have an impact on daily needs such as sleep, eating, schooling, and socializing.
In fact, a number of countries have been grappling with this problem for a long time. South Korea, for example, has set access to online games by children under the age of 16 between midnight and 6am as illegal.
Likewise in Japan. The local government will issue a warning to the players if they have played the game beyond the time limit specified monthly. Whereas in China, tenecent Internet giants limit hours to games that are popular with children.
Although WHO has defined addiction to playing games as a mental disorder, Killian Mullan, a researcher from Oxford University has another opinion. Based on research he conducted on children and adolescents in the age range of eight to 18 years, he found that there were no problems with gaming addiction.
Mullan argues that some game addicts in general succeed in synergizing digital entertainment and everyday life. “People think that children are addicted to technology and being in front of the screen for 24 hours have ruled out their lives. But that is not the case,” Mullan said.
Mullan’s view is supported by the categorization of game play as a branch of e-sport. Just like sports in general, e-Sport athletes are required to have a fit physical condition and adequate nutrition. Because, playing a game actually drains stamina because the player must devote his mind to carry out a playing strategy.
Even so, still playing games excessively without being accompanied by physical and social activities is not a good thing. Therefore, there still needs to be control from the medical authorities when these activities have disrupted daily routine activities.