Next week, members of the World Health Organization (WHO) would be deciding if video game addiction would become an officially acknowledged disorder. The eleventh replication of the International Classification of Diseases, commonly labeled as ICD-11, contained “gaming disorder” for the first time, when it was included in the draft document.
Regardless of notable pushback from industry leaders like the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) – depicting studios such as Activision Blizzard, Epic, and Riot – health experts would be able to cast their vote on the changes at the World Health Assembly in Geneva later this week.
The WHO guidance outlines the disorder as marked by a pattern of lasting or recurring gaming behavior that may be online or offline, showed by: 1) impaired control over gaming 2) increasing preference given to gaming to the degree that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and 3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences”.
It also adds that the behavior pattern “is of enough severity to result in compelling breakage in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning”. People face such symptoms over a period of twelve months or more potentially to be at risk.
The World Health Organization stated the judgment to contain gaming disorder in the ICD-11 was taken “established reviews of available evidence, and mirrors a general agreement of expert’s technical consultations”. However, responding to the news, the ESA insisted that television addiction to television should be regarded as a disorder.