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Gaming Disorder is Now an Official Disease According to the World Health Organisation

Gaming Disorder

Last week we reported that the World Health Organisation would be voting at the 72nd annual World Health Assembly on whether or not to classify gaming disorder as an official disease. Over the past weekend, the World Health Organisation voted to add gaming disorder to the list of officially recognised illnesses.

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194 representatives from all over the world voted on how gaming disorder should be classified. The affirmative vote had the effect to now classify this gaming-in-moderation issue as an official illness in the 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases, which is called the ICD-11. According to the ICD-11, the disorder is classified by the following definition:

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.

According to the World Health Organisation, including gaming disorder in the updated ICD-11 could shine more attention on the health risks, which could result in the development of treatment programmes to help those suffering from gaming addiction. Prevention programmes could also be developed, where awareness is created around the health risks associated with the disorder.

The addictive nature of video games has been a hotly debated topic for a while now, with a US senator even pushing for an anti-loot bill to be passed that would prevent gaming companies from selling and marketing loot-boxes and pay-to-win microtransaction to minors.

Do you think this new classification will help those suffering with the disorder and will help prevent others from becoming hooked? Let us know in the comments section below.


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