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It’s Official… ‘Gaming Disorder’ Is Now A Recognised Illness

It’s something that many wouldn’t consider a ‘medical’ condition but The World Health Organization has now officially voted to include “Gaming Disorder” to its list of recognised illness.

Having drawn a mild amount of criticism from some people, the move came during the 72nd World Health Assembly. ‘Gaming Disorder’ marks the 11th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11).

Gaming Disorder has been described as “A pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline.”

The disorder may develop itself through “impaired control over gaming”, increasingly putting video games ahead of other “life interests and activities” and ignoring “personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”

To be diagnosed with the disorder, the patient would have to exhibit the above behaviour for a minimum of 12 months, if severe though, it could be diagnosed quicker.

Various Entertainment Associations from across the globe, including the US, Canada, South Korea, Australia, and the UK have come together to criticise the move and implore that it consider more reviews and independent experts.

A statement read:

“Gaming disorder is not based on sufficiently robust evidence to justify its inclusion in one of the WHO’s most important norm-setting tools. The consequences of today’s action could be far-reaching, unintended, and to the detriment of those in need of genuine help.”

Apparently the decision to formally include Gaming Disorder as a recognised illness was based on a number of reviews of available evidence.

WHO said:

“A decision on inclusion of gaming disorder in ICD-11 is based on reviews of available evidence and reflects a consensus of experts from different disciplines and geographical regions that were involved in the process of technical consultations undertaken by WHO in the process of ICD-11 development.”


It’s been confirmed that the ICD-11 will officially go into effect on January 1, 2022.

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