WHO recognized addiction to computer games


Video game addiction was included in the World Health Organization’s ICD-11 disease list in 2018. This document came into force on January 1, 2022.

Video game addiction is now officially recognized as a disease. This is stated in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), the eleventh edition of which entered into force on January 1, 2022.

The document was published on the website of the World Health Organization. It was compiled in the summer of 2018. The document was approved by the World Health Assembly in 2019.

Gambling addiction, called gambling disorder, is characterized by persistent or recurrent impairment of the ability to control the frequency or length of time spent playing video games online and offline. Also, gambling addiction is characterized by a change in the patient’s priorities from daily activities and vital interests in favor of games, even when negative consequences arise.

“The play disorder pattern can be continuous, episodic and repetitive,” the document says.

Symptoms of the disease can occur continuously or periodically. Doctors can diagnose game addiction if a person has problems in life, work or study due to games throughout the year. However, in some cases, patient follow-up can be shortened if “severe symptoms” of the disease appear.


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