Published: Fri, June 22, 2018
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Video game companies dispute ‘gaming disorder’ addiction definition

Video game companies dispute ‘gaming disorder’ addiction definition

Transgender and genderqueer identities, which WHO refers to as "gender incongruence", are in a section about sexual health conditions in a newly updated version of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD). "We understand that our industry and supporters around the world will continue raising their voices in opposition to this move and urge the WHO to avoid taking steps that would have unjustified implications for national health systems across the world".

"After consulting with experts across the world, and reviewing evidence in an exhaustive manner, we decided that this condition should be added", Shekhar Saxena, director of the WHO's department of mental health and substance abuse, told AFP.

What has the organization previously said about video game addiction? It is characterised by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority to gaming over other activities including daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite negative consequences.

According to the World Health Organization, the gaming behaviour and related features have to be observed in an individual over a period of 12 months for an official diagnosis to be considered. The inclusion of a disorder in ICD is take into account by countries when planning public health strategies and monitoring trends of disorders.

This'll mean that annoyed parents and spouses won't be able to declare their child or partner is afflicted with gaming addiction if they've put in a few too many hours in Fortnite and other such compellingly competitive games. "Gaming disorder has been added to the section on addictive disorders", the World Health Organization said in a statement.

If the condition leads to significant distress and impairment in personal, familial, social, educational or occupational functioning. More than 2 billion people worldwide regularly play games. She added that a minority of gamers would be affected. The research supporting inclusion is highly contested and inconclusive. The WHO is officially classifying "gaming disorder" as an "addictive behavior" included under the umbrella of "mental, behavioral, or neurodevelopmental disorders" in the ICD-11 unveiled Monday. But, regardless, ICD-11 won't be hitting doctor's and insurers' offices any time soon-it could take more than a decade to finally implement, if ICD-10's history serves as an example.

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