WHO to name excessive video gaming as mental disorder in 2018

The World Health Organization is adding an unexpected disorder to its list of mental health conditions in 2018. Next year, people who play an excessive amount of video games could find themselves diagnosed with “gaming disorder.”

WHO’s beta draft of its upcoming 11th update of International Classification of Diseases characterizes gaming disorder as “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (‘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 inclusion of gaming disorder in the ICD-11 means health care workers and doctors can now diagnose someone with the condition.

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