World Health Organization Draft Recognizes Gaming Addiction

by Imran Khan on Dec 27, 2017 at 01:08 PM

The World Health Organization, the health arm of the United Nations, has included a recognition of gaming addiction in their newest internal classification of diseases revision.

That classification, or the ICD-11, is due out in 2018 and the current draft points to prioritization of gaming above all else and impaired control over the act as behavior indicating an addiction. 

“The behavior pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, or other important areas of functioning,” reads the current WHO draft. “The gaming behavior 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.”

Official recognition means that it's likely official diagnoses are likely not far down the line.

[Source: World Health Organization ICD-11]


Our Take
Gaming addiction and poor impulse control has a death count at this point, so it it took a while in the first place to be recognized. Still, hopefully now treatments can be designed. The common assumption of gaming addiction is that it's a 20 year-old playing Starcraft and neglecting their lives but it can affect anyone with a phone, keyboard, or controller at this point.