World Health Organization is recognizing gaming disorder as a mental health condition


"I don't think people should always just jump to the conclusion because someone likes to play video games", Jones says.

"Disorders due to addictive behaviors are recognizable and clinically significant syndromes associated with distress or interference with personal functions that develop as a result of repetitive rewarding behaviors other than the use of dependence-producing substances", the gaming-relevant section states. The pattern of gaming behavior may be continuous or episodic and recurrent.

World Health Organization defines gaming behavior as "impaired control over gaming" (ie, how often and for how long one plays game), "increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests", and "continuation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences", (such as being fired, or missing too much school).

This does not mean that gaming disorder is a done deal: The caveats note that the draft is not final, is updated on a daily basis, and is not yet approved by WHO.

Figuring out the degree to which playing games is harmful (or helpful) is all about context, according to Bruce Lee, an associate professor of worldwide health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

WHO's description of Gaming Disorder doesn't account for professional esports players whose main occupation is to compete for money and for glory. It also lists conditions medical personnel can use to decide if a gamer's behaviour can be described as a mental health disorder.

How much gaming is too much? Also, video games can "improve hand-eye coordination and reaction time".

"Like in Asia, China and Japan and Korea there are programs set up for folks that have gaming addiction so that they can take the kid out of the home, bring them into a center, try to get them more balance in their life", said Kjome. Well, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), you may have a mental health disorder.

Experts say whether someone actually suffers from a Gaming Disorder or not could be seen over the course of a year.