World Health Organisation finalises ICD-11, classifying addiction to gaming a disorder

The World Health Organisation completed the review process to an update version of it’s International classification of diseases’ eleventh edition (ICD-11). The ICD is the global standard for reporting diseases and conditions across all members countries.

ICD-11 has been the subject of a review process in the past months with a final updated manual being published June 2018. A review of this kind was last done in 1990.

Among the many notable revisions has been the addition of addiciton to gaming as a Gaming disorder.

Photo: WHO

Gaming disorder’s definition
The WHO defines a gaming disorder as “a pattern of gaming behavior (“digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”

For a diagnosis of Gaming disorder to be carriedout; “the behaviour pattern must be of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.” This is normally over a time frame of 12 months.

Not everyone agrees
This latest addition doesn’t in anyway imply a consesus on the matter among experts. Some of those opposed to the classification of gaming addiction as a disorder say that: “The empirical basis for a Gaming Disorder proposal, such as in the new ICD-11, suffers from fundamental issues.”

Further adding; “Our main concerns are the low quality of the research base, the fact that the current operationalization leans too heavily on substance use and gambling criteria, and the lack of consensus on symptomatology and assessment of problematic gaming.” (Here)

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