In its first update since 1992, the World Health Organisation added "gaming disorder" as an addictive behaviour to its International Classification of Diseases.
According to the relevant section in the draft, the proposed diagnoses would mean that gaming disorder would be listed as an addiction. The exact text describes it as "(disorders) due to addictive behaviours are recognizable and clinically significant syndromes associated with distress or interference with personal functions that develop as a result of repetitive rewarding behaviours other than the use of dependence-producing substances. Disorders due to addictive behaviors include gambling disorder and gaming disorder, which may involve both online and offline behaviour."
While the draft is being currently updated on a daily basis, industry groups have called for the classification to be removed. Just today, the Entertainment Software Association - which lists the likes of Capcom, Nintendo, Bethesda, Konami, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Microsoft as members - argued that the classification "recklessly trivializes real mental health issues like depression and social anxiety disorder, which deserve treatment and the full attention of the medical community."
"The World Health Organization knows that common sense and objective research prove video games are not addictive." Gaming addiction has come under scrutiny in recent years. In 2013, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5) added Internet Gaming Use Disorder as a condition "recommended for further study."
Via PC Gamer