WHO to recognise video game addiction as real disorder

Most parents already know it's real, but now health officials agree: video game addiction is real.

New Scientist reports the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases was last updated in 1992, and the next version - due 2018 - will recognise gaming addiction as a genuine mental health disorder.

The wording is still being worked on, but the draft text includes a number of symptoms doctors should look out for, including:

  • whether the patient gives priority to videogames "to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests"
  • an inability to control how often or how long the patient plays
  • ignoring the growing negative consequences of the patient's gaming.

Gaming addiction will fall under the category 'disorders due to addictive behaviour' - the same as gambling.

It comes after EA's popular Star Wars: Battlefront II came under widespread criticism for including 'loot crates' - items gamers pay real money for, but don't know what's inside - which have been compared to gambling.