‘Video game addiction’ officially classified as mental health disorder


Video game addiction is now officially classified as a mental health disorder, the World Health Organization has announced.

The condition has been included in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems or ICD-11. 

ICD-11 describes “Gaming Disorder” as recurrent video game playing that leads to “impaired control over gaming” and an “increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities,” despite “the occurrence of negative consequences,” according to WHO’s classification.

The updated ICD will be presented at the annual World Health Assembly.

It goes into effect January 2022. 

In a paper published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions last year, an international team of more than three dozen mental health researchers say there isn’t enough research to warrant the classification of a gaming disorder. 

But there has been research citing cases of people playing video games for up to 20 hours a day to the detriment of other activities including work, sleep and eating, Shekhar Saxena, expert on mental health and substance abuse for WHO, told Reuters.

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