“Gaming disorder” is now an illness, according to the World Health Organization. We covered this last year but the Entertainment Software Association’s (ESA) protest/disagreement delayed it from being formerly listed in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).
According to the 11th revision of the ICD, gaming disorder is defined 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, manifested by:
- Impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context);
- Increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and
- Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. The behavior pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”
The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behaviour 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.
Note that gaming disorder is listed under “Disorders due to addictive behaviours”. Essentially, the World Health Organization is saying that being addicted to gaming is an illness.
So what’s next? In our opinion, more people in areas of authority will start discussing gaming addiction in earnest. Some countries like Belgium are already implementing a ban on loot-boxes and more laws in regards to gaming may follow.
What’s your opinion on this? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.