“Gaming Disorder” Officially Recognized As Illness By World Health Organization

“Gaming Disorder” Officially Recognized As Illness By World Health Organization

It looks like the battle against gaming addiction has now escalated to a new level.

Previously, we reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) was holding a vote to recognize ‘Gaming Disorder’ as part of its 11th International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). Well, WHO just tallied the voting results in Geneva today, and the decision was unanimous: Gaming Disorder is now an illness.

In other words, doctors will soon be able to classify “persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour, which may be online or offline” as a disease, with the following symptoms:

  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
  3. Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences”
  4. Is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning
  5. Lasts for over a period of 12 months or more

While the classification only takes effect on 1 Jan 2022, WHO now expects to pursue further research into Gaming Disorder.

Of course, the internet quickly responded with an equal mix of fear and cynicism at this news. Some threw sarcasm at the classification, stating that playing games was now lethal to their health – while others were simply concerned about how the authorities would view gaming from now on.

For now, gaming fans will just have to wait and see how far WHO will take this new classification. We’ll report back when the situation develops further.