Videogame addiction is now an officially recognised illness

Excessively playing video games has officially been classified as a disorder by the World Health Organization (WHO). Photo: Caroline Seidel/dpa-tmn/dpa

Excessively playing videogames has officially been classified as a disorder by the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

The WHO has decided to include “gaming disorder” in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), which will be released on June 18, alongside gambling addiction. 

Not all scientists agree that gaming addiction should be included as a mental health problem, with some experts stating concerns that gamers could be stigmatised without real cause. 

However, Vladimir Poznyak, an expert on mental health and substance abuse at the WHO, stresses that there is a clear difference between gaming for pleasure and gaming as a compulsive behaviour. 

“By including gaming disorder in the ICD-11, we may also help stimulate further research into the area,” he said. 

The ICD is used by health professionals around the world to diagnose and categorise health conditions. It is also used by insurance providers as a basis for covering treatment costs. 

The ICD contains thousands of diseases and health conditions. The 10th revision was endorsed in 1990 and has been continually updated since then. The World Health Assembly will officially endorse the 11th revision of the ICD next spring. — dpa


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