Yesterday, the World Health Organization announced that it had finalized its 11th International Classification of Diseases, and much like the draft did in December of a year ago, it includes the addition of gaming to its section of addictive disorders.
If the condition leads to significant distress and impairment in personal, familial, social, educational or occupational functioning.
Video game addiction will soon become a diagnosable metal health condition, at least in the eyes of leading global health officials.
WHO has said gaming disorder is a serious health condition that requires monitoring. The pattern of gaming behavior may be continuous or episodic and recurrent.
To be diagnosed with gaming disorder, a person's behavior must significantly impact other important aspects of their life, such as their relationships or their ability to hold down a job.
Clinicians have also debated the validity of establishing a gaming disorder, as it shares many characteristics with other addictive disorders. Over time, gaming - and the continuation or escalation of gaming - can take priority over other interests and daily activities, despite some negative consequences.
The wording of the new entries has been known since January, when the World Health Organization announced problem gaming would be recognised as a pathological condition. In fact, she urinated on herself while sitting down playing the game. The online version of ICD-11 also says that "the content in this platform may change on an ongoing basis".
About 2.6 billion people around the globe play video games on a regular basis, and while it has been proven that gaming can be beneficial, many people have also become addicted.
In a way, gaming disorder seems to align very closely to other disorders that commonly affect the populous including gambling and substance abuse (i.e. drugs, alcohol). In 2013 "Internet Gaming Disorder" was included in the classification of mental and behavioural disorders of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-5) as a condition for further study. It urges the World Health Organization to reconsider before officially placing it in the final version of the medical classification document. "The WHO should consider the mounting evidence put before them before inclusion next year of "gaming disorder" in the final version of ICD-11".
The WHO stressed that only a small number of people who use digital or video games develop gaming disorder.