The World Health Organization spent a decade monitoring video game habits and, after six months of deliberation, decided to go ahead and consider video game addiction as a disease.
In its latest review of the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, WHO has decided to include “Video Games addiction” as a disease, such as gambling.
This WHO Classification classifies diseases and disorders for purposes as epidemiological research, health care management and clinical treatment – there is a chapter for “mental, behavioral or neurodevelopmental disorders” where video games were placed.
According to the World Health Organization explains, a disorder is a “pattern of persistent or recurring gaming behavior (whether digital or simply in video games) and can be online or offline.
Someone who plays compulsively and reveals a “growing priority for video games to the point of getting priority over other life interests or daily activities.”
“The continuation or increase of activity around videogames despite the occurrence of negative consequences” is another of the information presented by the organization in this disorder related to video games.
Several representatives of the video game industry have joined and presented a statement via Polygon in which they call on the esteemed organization to change its rating as they believe there is not enough evidence to justify including this disorder in one of its most important tools.
The Entertainment Software Association had already appealed to the WHO not to include “video game addiction” in its latest rating because it “trivializes true mental problems such as depression and social anxiety disorder.”
According to Polygon, countries such as China and Korea have long been fighting for the inclusion of “video game addiction” in the list of diseases officially recognized by the WHO after years of trying to combat teenage addiction through laws and regulations.
The World Health Organization denies being pressured by political issues and its classification is not a law, but it is very strong support for health professionals and politicians.