‘Gaming Disorder’ Is Now An Official Mental Health Condition, Declares WHO

By Yoon Sann Wong, 27 Dec 2017

Gaming enthusiasts might be familiar with that “pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior,” aka addiction to gaming, though few would be quick to call it a mental health condition.

In a move that could be reflective of the times, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced gaming disorder as an official mental condition.

In the 11th update beta draft of its International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), which is due to publish in 2018, WHO states that this “behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”



The behavior can be manifested by “impaired control over gaming” and “increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities.” The subject could also experience the “continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”

“The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.”

Not all health organizations agree with WHO’s classification though. Newsweek reported that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, created by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), has yet to recognize this as an official mental health condition. It does, however, view internet gaming disorder as a potential issue but will require additional monitoring for future inclusion.

Meanwhile, Google is building mixed-reality goggles that could make ‘Pokémon Go’ look like child’s play. This gadget also made it to the list of most coveted tech products moving into 2018, which includes ‘Ataribox’ and ‘Oculus Go’.

[via Digital Trends, image via Shutterstock]
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