The World Health Organisation lists gaming addiction as a mental disorder

Brittany Mendoza
June 20, 2018

Finally, after years of speculation and concern, we may start to get some scientific answers now that the World Health Organization has made a decision to classify gaming disorder as an addiction, comparable to compulsive gambling or substance abuse.

Transgender and genderqueer identities, which WHO refers to as "gender incongruence", are in a section about sexual health conditions in a newly updated version of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD).

Yesterday, the World Health Organization announced that it had finalized its 11th International Classification of Diseases, and much like the draft did in December of past year, it includes the addition of gaming to its section of addictive disorders.

The report said that 44 percent of gamers say that emotional wellbeing is the main benefit of gaming to society while only 3 percent think gaming has no benefit to wider society.

However, for people to be classed as suffering from gaming disorder, there will need to be evidence spanning at least 12 months suggesting that the person's other interests and daily activity have been negatively affected by increased gaming and that the situation is continuing to increase despite the warnings. This has caused a lot of upset throughout the video game industry, with worldwide organisations banding together to release a statement against the recognised addiction. "We are therefore concerned to see "gaming disorder" still contained in the latest version of the WHO's ICD-11 despite significant opposition from the medical and scientific community".

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On Monday, June 18th, the World Health Organization officially added "Gaming Disorder" to their 11th "Classification of Diseases" listing, and ignited a vast debate among community members in regards to its severity.

Games like Fortnite are more popular than ever, but they may also have renewed fears that games are damaging young minds.

Some say video games are therapeutic, even educational. The latest edition also has a new chapter on traditional medicine.

The ICD-11 is still under review, so its content may shift.

Gaming disorder rubs shoulders with conditions such as gambling disorder, substance abuse, and addictive hoarding in the ICD.

The new ICD-11 will be presented at the World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption by member states, and will come into effect on January 1, 2022.

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