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World Health Organization classifies 'Gaming Disorder' as a disease

20 Juin 2018

The UN health agency, in its updated classification manual realeased on Monday, said video game addiction should now officially read "gaming disorder".

"A key principle in this revision was to simplify the coding structure and electronic tooling - this will allow health care professionals to more easily and completely record conditions", said Dr. Robert Jakob, leader of the WHO's Classifications Terminologies and Standards team.

World Health Organization said it would be comparable to addictive or compulsive disorders where there is a lack of control over gaming, gaming gets precedence in life and gaming is continued or escalated despite negative consequences.

World Health Organization officials say statistics, mainly from East and South Asian countries, show only a very small two to three percent of people are addicted to Gaming.

Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

World Health Organization says on its website that all people who participate in gaming should be aware that gaming disorder is a real condition, and that it's important to be mindful of how often they play video games. WHO, however, says people who engage in gaming should be alert about the amount of time they spend on gaming activities.

Online and offline "gaming disorder" is grouped with "disorders due to substance use or addictive behaviours" in the ICD's 11th edition, the first major revision in almost three decades. The first is raising awareness for your child that their gaming is a problem, and looking for triggers and cues that could make the gaming habit better or worse. The inclusion of a disorder in ICD is a consideration which countries take into account when planning public health strategies and monitoring trends of disorders.

Video games across all kinds of genres, devices and platforms are enjoyed safely and sensibly by more than 2 billion people worldwide, with the educational, therapeutic, and recreational value of games being well-founded and widely recognised.

The BBC's Anu Anand, host of the Global Edition of our Morning Report program, joined us to discuss how it's defined and what its label as a medical condition could mean for insurance coverage.

"It's a disease of isolation they start cutting off everyone who is close to them because they can't get up from the game", Fearzig said. The draft draws similarities to gambling addictions. Game addiction however, can result in gamers spending several hours at a time in front of their screens.

"So in order to reduce the stigma, while also ensuring access to necessary health interventions, this was place to a different chapter-the sexual health chapter-in the new ICD", she added. Besides, the classification is used by national health programme managers; data collection specialists; and others.

World Health Organization classifies 'Gaming Disorder' as a disease