The World Health Organization has now added “Gaming Addiction” to the list of mental disorders they recognize in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).
This is one of the first revisions since the 1990s and isn’t without opposition. Christopher J. Ferguson, Ph.D. and a group of like minded researchers published a study called: “Video game addiction: The push to pathologize video games.”
“With proposals to include “gaming disorder” in both the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) and International Compendium of Diseases (ICD), the concept of video game addiction has gained traction. However, many aspects of this concept remain controversial. At present, little clarity has been achieved regarding diagnostic criteria and appropriate symptoms.”
Dr. Ferguson instead suggests that gaming as a whole should not be targeted but instead certain practices within gaming such as loot boxes. Gaming as a whole is too vague a target.
This will remain a controversial decision for the foreseeable future.
Below you will find the official WHO listing for “Gaming Addiction”
6C51 Gaming disorder
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; and 3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.