World Health Organization To Classify Gaming Addiction As A Mental Health Disorder

In its current draft of the latest edition of the International Classification of Diseases, the World Health Organization defines the disorder as a recurring behavior pattern that significantly impairs a person's personal, social and work life.

Basically, you play a lot of videogames.

Increasing priority to gaming to the extent it takes over other life interests and daily activities.

A draft of the latest version of the manual, called ICD-11, posted online lists gaming disorder among "disorders due to addictive behaviours".

Doctors say when it causes 'impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning'.

According to the marketing group NPD, video game console spending in the U.S.is up 27 percent from a year ago, up to $1.9 billion.


A spokesperson for the WHO's Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse warned that the soon-to-be recognized mental health condition could have serious consequences. The World Health Organization is now recognizing excessive gaming as a mental health disorder. For that to occur, gaming behavior should normally be evident over the course of a year, but that duration can be shortened "if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe".

Medrano understands how addiction to gaming can happen.

"In light of continuing controversies, it is argued that the now proposed categories of video game addiction disorders are premature".

The rules are there to avoid addictive behavior.

Avid gamer Hannah Jones says video games are more about relaxation.

The American Psychiatric Association had in its diagnostic manual of mental disorders in 2013 identified "Internet gaming disorder" as a condition warranting more clinical research and experience before it might be considered for inclusion as a formal disorder.

  • Sylvester Abbott