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New online test seeks to collect data on gaming disorder

A new online test called ‘Do I play too much videogames?’ has been devised to collect data on gaming behaviours and help players spot obsessive or addictive behaviours. As reported by Eurogamer, the anonymous 20-minute questionnaire also provides individual feedback on the candidate’s “own personality profile, gaming disorder scores, and also scores with respect to many different forms of gaming motivation”.  Scores of 5 or more out of 20 are reportedly indicative of “higher tendencies towards gaming disorder”.

“The purpose of this survey is to examine your gaming behavior alongside your psychological wellbeing,” the landing page of the survey’s site states.

Further to a vote last month, the 194 members of the World Health Organization (WHO) have agreed to recognise “gaming disorder” as an illness at the 72nd World Health Assembly. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) – which opposed the addition – and the WHO met in December to discuss the decision last year to list “gaming disorder” as an official addictive disorder in the 11th International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).

Despite opposition from the ESA and other trade organisations, however, the WHO says the decision to include gaming disorder was based on available evidence and reflected the consensus of experts. Consequently, ICD-11 has now been adopted by the World Health Assembly and will come into effect on January 1st, 2022.

The disorder is described as: a pattern of “persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour, which may be online 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”.

It also added that if the symptoms last for at least 12 months and a player’s behaviour “is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning”, they could be diagnosed with the disorder.

“The inclusion of gaming disorder in ICD-11 follows the development of treatment programmes for people with health conditions identical to those characteristic of gaming disorder in many parts of the world, and will result in the increased attention of health professionals to the risks of development of this disorder and, accordingly, to relevant prevention and treatment measures,” WHO said.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond.

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