Screen Readers Skip to Content

Gaming Disorder Disability: Video Game Addiction (VGA)

Published: 2021-12-08
Author: Disabled World | Contact: Disabled World (Disabled-World.com)

Synopsis: Information regarding video game addiction, a problematic, compulsive use of video games resulting in significant inability to function in various life domains over a prolonged period of time. Video game addiction is a global phenomenon and can lead to poorer grades in school and serious psychological problems, including depression, anxiety, and social phobia. Some theories regarding video game addiction focus on the presumed built-in reward systems of video games - such as compulsion loops - to explain their potentially addictive nature.

Main Digest

According to ABC News, parents have many concerns about their children playing video games, including concerns about age appropriateness, the amount of time spent playing games, physical health, and aggressive behavior. There have also been at least a few deaths caused directly by exhaustion from playing games for excessive periods of time.

Related:

Video game addiction (VGA), (gaming disorder, internet gaming disorder, problematic online gaming), is generally defined as the problematic, compulsive use of video games that results in significant impairment to an individual's ability to function in various life domains over a prolonged period of time. To be considered a pathological gamer, the person has to be experiencing disabling damage to several areas of their life, including areas like school, social, family, occupational, and psychological functioning.

Some theories regarding video game addiction disability focus on the presumed built-in reward systems of video games to explain their potentially addictive nature. The anticipation of such rewards can create a neurological reaction that releases dopamine into the body, so that once the reward is obtained, the person will remember it as a pleasurable feeling. This has been found to be similar to the neurological reaction of other behavioral addictions such as substance abuse and gambling disorder, although not to the same magnitude and with some differences.

It must be noted here that many people play video games every day, and many people prefer them to linear entertainment like TV shows and movies. Just because a person spends his or her free time gaming does not mean he or she has gaming disorder. The habit must have clear negative consequences for the person's life to qualify as a disorder - or disability.

Gaming illustration of a human head wearing futuristic gaming goggles.
Gaming illustration of a human head wearing futuristic gaming goggles.

Gaming Disorder a Verifiable Mental Health Condition

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently classified "gaming disorder" as a verifiable mental health condition.

Gaming disorder is defined in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as a pattern of gaming behavior ("digital-gaming" or "video-gaming") characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences - (who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/addictive-behaviours-gaming-disorder)

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is the basis for identification of health trends and statistics globally and the international standard for reporting diseases and health conditions. It is used by medical practitioners around the world to diagnose conditions and by researchers to categorize conditions.

The WHO describes gaming disorder as having three distinct traits:

Video game addiction is a global phenomenon and can lead to poorer grades in school and serious psychological problems, including depression, anxiety, and social phobia.

Symptoms May Include:

Problem gambling, depression, social withdrawal, playing video games for extremely long periods of time.

Complications Can Include:

Mood disorders, depression, somatization, sleep disturbances, obesity, anxiety disorders.

Frequency:

1 to 3% of those who play video games - (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_addiction).

Risk Factors Include:

Preexisting mental disorder (ADHD, OCD, compulsive behavior, conduct disorder, depression, behavioral inhibition), personality traits (neuroticism, impulsivity, aggressiveness), younger people, male gender.

APA Criteria for Characterizing Proposed Internet Gaming Disorder

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has said there is not "sufficient evidence" to consider gaming addiction as a "unique mental disorder." While the APA does not recognize video game addiction as a disorder, in light of existing evidence, the organization included video game addiction as a "condition requiring further study" in the DSM-5 as Internet gaming disorder - (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_addiction).

Also See:

Who We Are:

Disabled World is an independent disability community established in 2004 to provide disability news and information to people with disabilities, seniors, and their family and/or carers. See our homepage for informative reviews, exclusive stories and how-tos. You can connect with us on social media such as Twitter and Facebook or learn more about Disabled World on our about us page.

Disabled World provides general information only. Materials presented are in no way meant to be a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Any 3rd party offering or advertising on disabled-world.com does not constitute endorsement by Disabled World.


Cite This Page (APA): Disabled World. (2021, December 8). Gaming Disorder Disability: Video Game Addiction (VGA). Disabled World. Retrieved January 17, 2022 from www.disabled-world.com/entertainment/games/gaming-disorder.php