Gaming Addiction Officially Recognized As Illness By The World Health Organization

A committee said the decision would

The WHO votes to recognize ‘gaming disorder’ as an official disease

The decision, reached during the World Health Assembly in Geneva, which wraps up on Tuesday, could help put to rest decades of debate among experts over how to define burn-out, and whether it should be considered a medical condition.

"Understanding what makes people sick, and what eventually kills them, is at the core of mapping disease trends and epidemics, deciding how to programme health services, allocate healthcare spending, and invest in improving therapies and prevention", reads the update by the World Health Organization. According to the aforementioned document, "the behaviour pattern must be of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and would normally have been evident for at least 12 months" to diagnose someone with a gaming disorder. The 11th edition of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, otherwise known as ICD-11, added "gaming disorder" after the 194 members deemed it a health concern during the assembly. The pattern of gaming behavior may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. This new revision of the ICD includes gaming disorder as an illness.

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"There is increasing and well-documented evidence of clinical relevance of these conditions and increasing demand for treatment in different parts of the world", a WHO spokesman said in January.

The classification for gaming disorder was added to the ICD-11 revision in mid-2018 as the gaming industry faced increased scrutiny over games that encouraged compulsive play.

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The definition of gaming disorder has remained more or less the same since the WHO introduced it as a mental health disorder previous year.

Gaming disorder is essentially described by the World Health Organization as an addiction, in that gaming can become a problem when it's prioritised over other important responsibilities and begins to result in negative impacts on a person's life.

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Video game addiction is now officially a disease. Recently, members of the US Congress began creating legislation to ban addictive loot boxes.

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