WHO classifies gaming addiction as a disorder

  • 20 Jan - 26 Jan, 2018
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified gaming addiction to be listed as a mental health condition for the first time. Its 11th International Classification of Diseases (ICD) will include the condition "gaming disorder".

The organisation’s draft document describes the condition as a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour so severe that it takes "precedence over other life interests". Various countries had already identified it as a chief public health issue and many, including the UK, have certain private addiction clinics to "treat" it as well. Lead technology addiction specialist at the Nightingale Hospital in London, Dr Richard Graham, welcomed the decision to recognise the condition. "It is significant because it creates the opportunity for more specialised services. It puts it on the map as something to take seriously,” he said.