‘Gaming Disorder’ Will Officially Be An Illness According To The World Health Organization

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Some video games make you want to play for hours and hours, but the World Health Organization has officially recognized video game addiction as a public health crisis. According to Kotaku, the WHO’s latest standards recognize “gaming disorder” as a serious health concern after reviewing

According to the 11th edition of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, or ICD-11, “gaming disorder” is officially listed as an illness. The ICD-11 was officially accepted by the 194-member organization on Saturday.

The ICD-11 has an official definition for “gaming disorder” included in its latest edition.

“A pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) 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. The behavior pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”

There isn’t much to editorialize about here: Video games certainly can be addicting in certain forms, though various industry groups have battled against the distinction in a variety of ways. Regardless, the WHO’s ICD-11 will go into effect on January 1, 2022.

[via Kotaku]