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18th Jun 2018

Video game addiction is now being recognised as a mental health condition

Rudi Kinsella

It will now be recognised by the World Health Organisation.

In a new draft of the International Classification of Diseases to be released on Monday, addiction to video games will officially be recognised as a mental health condition.

The ICD defines gaming disorder as a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour, which may be online, or offline.

This decision by the WHO intends to encourage those whose lives are negatively effected by video games to come forward and seek help.

According to the ICD, a gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline, manifested by:

  1. Impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context)
  2. Increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities
  3. Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

In recent times, a number of games are free to download, which undoubtedly contributes to the gaming culture.

Fortnite: Battle Royale, which is one of the most played video games of the year, is played by millions of people worldwide every day, and was completely free for gamers to download.