World Health Organization Finally Recognizes Gaming Disorder as Illness

There are several people who are addicted to Fornite, PUBG, GTA, and similar other games. This addiction or gaming disorder has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an illness.

At the 72nd World Health Assembly, on 25th May 2019, 194 members of the World Health Organization agreed to add gaming disorder in the list of recognized illnesses.

International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems have been revised for the 11th time (ICD-11), adding gaming disorder into the list as an illness.

Defining Gaming Disorder

WHO ICD-11 have considered gaming disorder as a determined and regular pattern of playing videos games, digital, online or even offline games.

1. One has no control over gaming sessions as to how frequent, intense and long they are

2. Gaming is given priority over anything else, and another day to day routine is ignored or procrastinated

3. Negative apprehensions are overlooked while gaming is continued. This may affect the social, personal and professional life of an individual.

Many people might find the above points relatable, however, there is a difference in having a gaming disorder and being obsessed with it.

Playing video games for hours is not always a disorder and could be just a hobby also. Dr. John Jiao, posted a thread on Twitter, clarifying the misconceptions about gaming disorder. He said that spending several hours may not be the real issue, instead of when other life activities are affected by it, that's when it turns into a gaming disorder.


Avoiding social gatherings, or skipping office for a day and staying glued to games may not be an issue unless it becomes a habit.

People who may be professional gamers, streamers or are into gaming intensely but still live a healthy social and personal life, are not affected by the disorder.

Gaming and depression may be interlinked in a way and therefore it is difficult to distinguish them.

Many of the gamers may not agree with the gaming disorder and reject this theory. This could be due to their lack of experience related to the dependency leading to self-harm, that actual gaming disorder people go through.

Whereas, people who are affected by it will be able to have suitable treatment of it because of ICD-11.

The World Health Organization votes to recognize 'gaming disorder' as an official disease

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