Video Game Addiction is Real Disease

Gaming Addiction Is Now An Official Mental Health Disorder

The World Health Organisation (WHO) will officially be classing addiction to video games as a disorder from today.

Poznyak said the condition leads to "significant distress and impairment in personal, family, social, educational or occupational functioning". ICD-11, which has been over a decade in the making, provides significant improvements on previous versions.

The concept of video game addiction is nearly as old as gaming itself, but it's only this month that there's been any attempt to formally acknowledge it as a specific mental health problem. As its public listing reads, it is characterized by a pattern of "persistent or recurrent gaming behavior" including impaired control over frequency and duration, increasing priority to give gaming precedence over other "life interests and daily activities", and continuing to game despite negative consequences.

Separately, the WHO listed "hazardous gaming", which is when a pattern of gaming "appreciably increases the risk of harmful physical or mental health consequences to this individual or others around this individual". The new ICD-11 also reflects progress in medicine and advances in scientific understanding.

Fortnite is the latest in a long line of games to be called addictive by mainstream press. In fact, she urinated on herself while sitting down playing the game. The U.S. video game industry - through its Entertainment Software Association lobbying group - threw its support behind several academics who opposed the WHO's efforts when it confirmed previous year that they would include "gaming disorder" as a condition.

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And yet, that hasn't spotted the larger game industry from coming forward to criticize the diagnosis. The evidence for its inclusion remains highly contested and inconclusive.

More than 2 billion people worldwide regularly play games. It urges the World Health Organization to reconsider before officially placing it in the final version of the medical classification document.

"A decision on inclusion of gaming disorder in ICD-11 is based on reviews of available evidence and reflects a consensus of experts from different disciplines and geographical regions that were involved in the process of technical consultations undertaken by World Health Organization in the process of ICD-11 development", writes the WHO.

The United Nations' WHO has been contemplating the declaration of compulsive video game playing as a mental health condition since a year ago, and the game industry has been pushing back.

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