Efforts to tackle gaming addiction received a significant boost after the World Health Organisation (WHO) included “gaming disorder” in a draft classification paper.
The addictive qualities of video games have been subject to debate amongst health experts and psychologists for more than a decade.
Although still in draft form, the WHO’s 2018 International Classification of Diseases includes gaming disorder under the broader category of “disorders due to addictive behaviors.”
The organisation listed three conditions that would classify an individual as suffering from gaming disorder: Impaired control over the game; increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and thirdly, the continuation of escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.
The report added: “The behavior pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”
Although the report is focused on home video gaming, it is expected to have some ramifications for the betting and eSports industries.