The World Health Assembly is currently underway in Geneva, Switzerland. During this year’s Assembly, nationals from member states are expected to cast a vote on whether gaming addiction should be classified as an official disease. The vote comes more than a year after the World Health Organisation announced that it plans to include gaming addiction in the revised and updated International Classification of Diseases, which is called the ICD-11.
The current guidelines from the World Health Organisation classifies addiction to gaming as an “impaired control” over gaming activities, which means increased priority is given to gaming over normal daily life and this behaviour continues “despite the occurrence of negative consequences“.
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.
According to the World Health Organisation, a vote to possibly include the disorder in the updated ICD-11 could shine more attention on the health risks, which could result in the development of treatment programmes to help those suffering from gaming addiction. Prevention programmes could also be developed, where awareness is created around the health risks associated with the disorder.
Although studies show that only a small part of the population who play video games are affected by the disorder, the World Health Organisation suggests that people who regularly game should be aware of their physical and psychological health and take note on whether their gaming is affecting them negatively.
Do you think the World Health Organisation should include addiction to games in the ICD-11 as an official disease? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.