The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified compulsive gaming as a mental health condition.
The condition tagged ‘gaming disorder’ will be added to the 11th edition of WHO’s International Classification of Diseases.
It will describe the disorder as “impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences”.
A WHO representative estimated two to three percent of video game players meet the criteria for gaming disorder.
“For gaming disorder to be diagnosed, the behaviour pattern must be of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning,” WHO said.
Several mental health professionals have been fighting this classification, worried that it’s more grounded in moral concerns than science.
“There was a fairly widespread concern that this is a diagnosis that doesn’t really have a very solid research foundation,” said Christopher Ferguson, a psychologist and media researcher at Stetson University in DeLand.
The American Psychiatric Association also said that there was not “sufficient evidence” to consider gaming addiction as a “unique mental disorder”.
WHO had said in December 2017 that it will recognise the effects of obsessive video gaming as a mental health disorder.