The World Health Organization (WHO), which includes 194 members, is one of the most respected health organisations on Earth. And during the 72nd World Health Assembly last 25th May, the WHO added “Gaming Disorder” to list of the health organization’s recognised illnesses.

The organisation finalised the eleventh revision of its International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11) last June 2018, and it stated that Gaming Disorder is a ” pattern of behaviour characterised 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”.

It also added “For gaming disorder to be diagnosed, 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.”

Of course, ICD-11 was met with a huge backlash from many in the distribution of video games around the world. These include the ESA, ISFE and UKIE. They argued that more research was needed to be done, and that gaming disorder was perhaps a symptom of a more serious underlying mental health issues. They also added that the “good video games do economically, creatively, politically, and in terms of education, health and a whole lot more, is put at risk by the the WHO’s classification.

However, the WHO has already done much studies into the matter, consulting many experts in various fields. The organization also stated that “The inclusion of gaming disorder in ICD-11 follows the development of treatment programmes for people with health conditions identical to those characteristic of gaming disorder in many parts of the world, and will result in the increased attention of health professionals to the risks of development of this disorder and, accordingly, to relevant prevention and treatment measures.”

ICD-11 will officially take effect on 1st January 2022.

Source: Games Industry