WHO to recognize gaming disorder as mental health condition in 2018

ESA Wants the World Health Organization to Reconsider Gaming Disorder as an Addiction

In its first update since 1992, the World Health Organisation added "gaming disorder" as an addictive behaviour to its International Classification of Diseases.

In the, the World Health Organization includes "gaming disorder" in its list of mental health conditions. It still needs to be approved and this is what the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) wants to stop, GamesIndustry.biz reports.

The current working definition of the disorder is "a pattern of gaming behaviour, that can be digital gaming or video gaming, characterised by impaired control over gaming, increased priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests", Jasarevic said.

"Just like avid sports fans and consumers of all forms of engaging entertainment, gamers are passionate and dedicated with their time". And, putting that official label on them recklessly trivialises real mental health issues like depression and social anxiety disorder, which deserve treatment and the full attention of the medical community. We strongly encourage the World Health Organization to reverse direction on its proposed action'. At any rate, the WHO ICD will be revised until its final release later this year.


The guide is used by doctors and researchers and advises that "abnormal gaming behaviour" should be shown for 12 months at least "for a diagnosis to be assigned".

In short, WHO has officially declared video game addiction a mental health disorder.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - a separate compendium of strictly psychological disorders - does not now list a gaming disorder, calling it only a "condition for further study".

Two terms for gaming problems are included in the compendium: "hazardous gaming" and "gaming disorder". "I think anything done in excess is risky, and that can be anything from playing games to taking drugs they are looking at extreme cases", she said.

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