WHO to Recognize Gaming Disorder as a Mental Health Disease

Leslie Hanson
December 30, 2017

In its 11th International Classification of Disease, a diagnostic manual to be published next year, the United Nations health agency defines gaming disorder as a "persistent or recurrent" disorder that can cause "significant impairment" to the gamer's life, including to family, education, work and friends.

The World Health Organisation has moved to classify excessive gaming as a mental health condition, saying a "gaming disorder" can severely impact mental well-being, jobs and relationships.

Once a week Brandon Victorian, Ian Mundt and Troy Hoffpauir meet up inside Paper Heroes in Lake Charles to play card game "Heart of Crown".

REUTERS/Matthew TostevinAddiction to video games will be a recognized mental health disorder on WHO's list. Having captivated gamers for more than four decades, more than 2 billion people around the world enjoy video games.

The WHO says those with the disorder can't stop themselves from playing and make gaming their number one priority.

Riviere wasn't shocked by the decision because he has seen these symptoms in certain children.

While Riviere says this diagnosis is really for those with extreme cases, these group of friends still believe a diagnosis is just too much.

By adding "gaming disorder" to the list of diseases, it means it will now be recognized by doctors and insurance companies. Yet, as time goes on, it's becoming increasingly clear that games do have the ability to hook people more so than other forms of entertainment.

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