Update 19/06/18 — The Entertainment Software Association of Canada has issued a statement on Twitter in response to the WHO’s new classification of gaming disorders:
“The video game industry is concerned to see ‘gaming disorder’ still contained in the latest draft of the World Health Organization (WHO)’s ICD-11 despite significant opposition from the medical and scientific community. The evidence for its inclusion remains highly contested and inconclusive and there is simply no consensus as to its existence.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared compulsive video gaming a mental health condition.
Back in December, the United Nations health agency revealed it was planning to recognize “gaming disorders” in its list of international diseases.
In January, the agency defined a gaming 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.”
According to the latest revision to the WHO’s international disease classification manual, recognizing gaming disorders will “serve a public health purpose for countries to be better prepared to identify this issue.”
Dr. Shekhar Saxena, director of WHO’s department for mental health, said the decision to classify gaming disorders as a mental health condition was made based on scientific evidence.