WHO Draft Suggests 'Gaming Disorder' As New Disease Classification

Posted On: 1/10/2018

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GENEVA, Switzerland -- The World Health Organization presently is preparing a draft of a new International Classification of Diseases document. Two of the proposed entries are "Gaming Disorder" (6D11) and "Hazardous Gaming" (QF02).

According to the draft, which is updated  daily and  is not approved by WHO, "gaming disorder" is among ailments due to addictive behaviors. It can affect players of "digital" or "video" games, online or off-line, and is characterized by "increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities."

"Hazardous gaming" refers to "a pattern of gaming, either online or offline, that appreciably increases the risk of harmful physical or mental health consequences" to individuals and/or others around them. Either disorder may be diagnosed if the behavior persists, or recurs, over a period of at least 12 months.

On Dec. 27, 2017, CNN published a report on these draft entries which includes interviews with WHO officials and other experts on psychology.

WHO is a specialized agency of the United Nations. Its latest International Classification of Diseases database, ICD-11, is being finalized in preparation for release this year.