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Addiction to computer games got into the WHO classification
On May 25, the World Health Assembly ratified the eleventh revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). For the first time, addiction to computer and video games was included in the list of diseases and disorders. The document will come into force on January 1, 2022. Izvestia figured out what follows from this.
I love to play. I am sick?
A new disease , Gaming Disorder (6C51), affects both computer and video games on consoles. At the same time, it does not matter what kind of games it will be: shooters from the Counter-Strike category, the FIFA football simulator or online multiplayer games like World of Tanks. You can become addicted to any game.
Addiction is a persistent repetition of one and the same behavior by a person, despite the obvious growing physiological, mental, social or financial problems , psychiatrist-narcologist, specialist in the treatment of patients with gambling and computer addiction of the Moscow Research Institute of Psychiatry of the Ministry of Health of Russia Viktor Khanykov told Izvestia.
In a few years, online life will be considered normal and socially acceptable behavior.
Such a loss of control over oneself can literally cost a person his life. In 2005, a Chinese girl named Snowly died of exhaustion after playing World of Warcraft for many hours. The event has gained widespread acclaim thanks to Snowly's online funeral. Dozens of characters from friendly clans took part in them.
For a patient to be diagnosed with confidence, symptoms must be present for at least a year. Although in acute cases, this period can be reduced.
What will the ICD affect?
The ICD is used to provide all countries of the world with uniform terms for registering diseases. This is necessary for a planet of 7.6 billion people who speak nearly 7,000 languages. The document contains approximately 55,000 unique codes for injuries, diseases and causes of death.
teenager with game console
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Adding gambling addiction to the ICD means the ability to hospitalize or treat patients with this problem on an outpatient basis, without camouflaging it with other diagnoses , Khanykov said. In addition, scientific research in the field of gambling addiction will now be published more actively.
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However, the developers of computer games hardly have a reason to worry , the expert said. "Was the recognition of alcoholism as a disease hundreds of years ago turned into something unpleasant for the producers of alcoholic drinks?" - says Khanykov.
The global esports market is now estimated at $ 1.1 billion, of which Russia accounts for approximately $ 40 million , Aleksandr Gorbachenko, a leading Russian expert in computer sports, director of ANO MKL (Intercontinental Cybersport League), told Izvestia. He explains this difference in volumes in the number of players.
“1.7 billion people play computer games in the world, while in Russia there are only 143 million people. Probably, this is just our percentage, ”Gorbachenko said. The most popular games today are Dota 2, Counter-Strike and League of Legends. At the same time, the largest and most prestigious competitions are those held by the game manufacturers themselves. So, one of the largest is the annual Dota 2 esports tournament The International.
League of Legends Continental League final
Presenters of the League of Legends Continental League finals at the Glavkino cinema and television complex in the Moscow region
Photo: RIA Novosti / Kirill Kallinikov
If in 2013 the prize fund was $ 2.8 million, then in 2018 the prize money of the tournament was $ 25.53 million. Of these, the European team OG won $ 11.25 million. Such figures are impressive, but it is worth remembering that, as in any traditional sports, millions play, and only a few become the best.
In Russia, computer sports were officially recognized only in 2016. It is included in the second section of the All-Russian register of sports along with football and hockey and is a sport developed at the all-Russian level.
Photo: TASS / Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press via ZUMA Press
Dota 2 International Esports Championship
In computer sports, there are all the same aspects that are characteristic of traditional types of competition. These are tournaments, prize funds, advertising contracts, equipment, event organization. Also, in recent years, a global trend has reached Russia - the education of cybersportsmen.
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For example, the Russian State University of Physical Culture, Sports, Youth and Tourism has a whole department "Theory and methodology of computer sports and applied computer technology." In four years, you can get a bachelor's degree and go to work as a coach, judge or tournament organizer.
Gorbachenko believes that the decision to make gambling addiction a disease will have nothing to do with computer sports. “If a person is diagnosed with this disease, he will be treated. Who he is at this moment does not matter at all. He can be a scientist, student, associate professor, and maybe an athlete, but this has nothing to do with his type of activity, ”Gorbachenko said.
From interviews with cybersportsmen it follows that it is real champions who spend a strictly defined amount of time in games, which does not interfere with their other interests and which they completely control from and to, in turn, said Viktor Khanykov.
International Exhibition of Computer Games Gamescom
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At the same time, he noted that there are probably many addicted players among esports players who are less successful because they are almost always tired. “Imagine a hockey player training 12-14 hours a day. How will he come out on a crucial match? " - explained the specialist.
In part, this idea was supported by the director of ANO MKL, noting that cybersportsmen always go through the training process in preparation for the competition. Preparation without fail is organized and according to plan, in contrast to the entertainment of an ordinary gamer.
The legalization of the cyber industry is gradually increasing the popularity of computer games. However, the problem with gambling addiction is so large-scale that the appeal to specialists with it is now equal to the topic of drugs, noted Viktor Khanykov.
“It's another matter that relatives, sometimes friends, apply, but in most cases it is impossible to persuade the patients themselves to even consult,” the doctor concluded.