WHO will include "gaming disorder" in its international list of illnesses next year. Gaming disorder is due to be added to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) as a serious health condition that needs to be monitored.
‘WHO has decided to add gaming disorder to the international list of illnesses after monitoring computer gaming for over a decade.’
The eleventh edition of the ICD is published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is due to be released in 2018.
Vladimir Poznyak, at the WHO's Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, said: "Health professionals need to recognise that gaming disorder may have serious health consequences."
Poznyak added: "Most people who play video games don't have a disorder, just like most people who drink alcohol don't have a disorder either. However, in certain circumstances overuse can lead to adverse effects."
Though the exact wording for the gaming disorder entry is yet to be announced, the draft lists the criteria used to determine if a person's gaming habits have reached worrying levels.
The draft classifies someone as having gaming disorder if "gaming takes precedence over other life interests". Last year, researchers from the University of Oxford's Internet Institute did a study to find out the percentage of gamers who are addicted to playing video games.