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Gaming disorder recognised as an illness, trade groups disagree

Published: 18:08, 27 May 2019
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The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently included gaming disorder among their officially recognised illnesses, and although the classification doesn't come into effect until 2022, several gaming trade groups criticised the decision.

So, the gaming disorder's introduction to the eleventh revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11) has been confirmed on 25 May, at the World Health Assembly.

ICD-11 defines the disorder as "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."

Note, however, that being diagnosed with a gaming disorder is not quite as straightforward, as the aforementioned habit must be of "sufficient severity" and impair other aspects of living for enough time to be diagnosed.

Entertainment associations from accross the globe have been protesting the addition of the gaming disoder to ICD-11 and many of them joined forces in its criticism.

The Entertainment Software Association from the U.S., the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association from Australia, the Interactive Software Federation of Europe, K-Games from South Korea and the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment have called for the WHO to base their decisions on more reviews and independent experts.

"Gaming disorder is not based on sufficiently robust evidence to justify its inclusion in one of the WHO's most important norm-setting tools", they said.

The WHO, on the other hand, wrote, "A decision on inclusion of gaming disorder in ICD-11 is based on reviews of available evidence and reflects a consensus of experts from different disciplines and geographical regions that were involved in the process of technical consultations undertaken by WHO in the process of ICD-11 development."

As you'd expect, there's plenty of concern over potential financial implications of this. According to some reports, South Korean gaming industry could lose up to $9.45 billion due to this, although we're not sure how accurately can this even be predicted at the moment.

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We guess we'll hear much more about this, as there's still time before ICD-11 is in effect. Until then, you can find the gaming disorder description .

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