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The World Health Organization Officially Recognises 'Gaming Disorder' As A Disease

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The World Health Organization Officially Recognises 'Gaming Disorder' As A Disease

The World Health Organization has now added 'gaming disorder' to its list of officially recognised diseases.

Yes, the moment has finally happened. We all know someone who could end up playing FIFA or Fortnite for endless hours, but the WHO adopted the eleventh revision of its International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11) on the weekend.

The United Nations' public health division, which recognised 'gaming disorder' as a mental health condition in 2018, had all 194 members agree to the eleventh revision.

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"Gaming disorder is defined in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as a pattern of gaming behavior ('digital-gaming' or 'video-gaming') characterized by 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," reads the description on its website.

"For gaming disorder to be diagnosed, the behaviour pattern must be of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and would normally have been evident for at least 12 months."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

According to the WHO, gaming disorder will become officially recognised from 1st January 2022.

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The announcement from the WHO, unsurprisingly, hasn't received a warm reception from different sectors of the gaming industry.

The Global Video Game Industry Associations, along with representatives from across Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, South Africa and Brazil, has raised concerns about gaming disorder being recognised as a disease.

"There is significant debate among medical and professionals about today's WHO action," reads the statement.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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"We are concerned they reached their conclusion without the consensus of the academic community.

"The consequences of today's action could be far-reaching, unintended and to the detriment of those in need of genuine help.

"We encourage and support healthy gameplay by providing information and tools, such as parental controls, that empower billions of people around the world to manage their play to ensure it remains enjoyable and enriching.

"As with all good things in life, moderation is key and that finding the right balance is an essential part of safe and sensible play."

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Is gaming disorder a disease?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: EA Sports/PA

Topics: gaming news, FIFA 19

Adnan Riaz

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