WHO has recognized “gaming disorder” as a disease, and here’s how to know if you have it

Last weekend, the World Health Organization added to the international classification

diseases "gaming disorder".

What is known

Doctors described the disease as a pattern of behavior whenwhich gives games more priority compared to other activities. To confirm a diagnosis, a person’s behavior must have deteriorated significantly, affecting relationships with loved ones, and the disorder itself must have manifested itself within 12 months.

“Inclusion of gaming disorder in the composition ofICD-11 comes as many countries around the world have developed treatment programs for people with health conditions identical to those characteristic of gaming disorder, and will encourage health professionals to pay greater attention to the risk of developing this disorder, and therefore and appropriate measures for its prevention and treatment,” explains WHO.

At the same time, organizations from the gaming industrylike ESA, ISFE and UKIE believe that WHO should reconsider the decision. Representatives said that doctors should conduct more research, because “gaming disorder” may be a symptom of another serious illness.

“WHO is a respected organization and itsmanagement must rely on regular, inclusive and transparent feedback, supported by independent expert findings. There is not sufficiently compelling evidence to justify including gaming disorder in one of the WHO's most important guidelines," the Entertainment Software Association said in a statement.

Despite criticism from representativesindustry, “gaming disorder” will be included in the ICD-11 on January 1, 2022. It is possible that before then new studies will appear that refute WHO statements.