Do you like video games?  Are you the kind that can get so lost and involved in your favorite title of the moment that you’re willing to burn vacation days and spend the entire time in a non-stop playing frenzy?

It hasn’t happened very often, but there have been a handful of documented cases where people have actually died from playing video games.

They get so wrapped up in them that they forego sleep and forget to eat. Their addiction to the game they’re playing ultimately leads to their deaths.

As crazy as that sounds, it’s true Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has made it official, naming gaming addiction as a genuine mental disorder.

The WHO has just finalized the 11th Edition of its “International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related health Problems (ICD-11)”, and it contains an entry for gaming disorders. According to the guidelines, the disorders are “characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior which may be online or offline.”

A sufferer of a Gaming Disorder will exhibit behavioral patterns “of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”

This is big news because for the first time ever, it will give health care professionals the means to track it as a disorder and start gathering statistics on how widespread it is.  Of course, as a newly minted disorder, it’s entirely possible that there will be some misdiagnosis as health care professionals wrestle with the symptoms they’re seeing.  Enthusiastic game play could well be interpreted as a disorder when it actually isn’t.

Even if you’re not that big a fan of gaming yourself, if you know someone who has recently cut off all communication with the outside world and has cloistered himself away to play for days on end, this is a tidbit worth knowing.

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