As of Monday, June 18, gaming disorder is officially recognized as a mental health condition by the World Health Organization. It’s called gaming disorder, and it’s characterized by “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior,”, or an addiction to gaming. Folks who suffer from the disorder are said to have “impaired control over gaming,” which is to say an inability to control the frequency, intensity, duration, and context of their habits. WHO also notes that those who prioritize video games over “other life interests and daily activities” and continue to escalate the amount that they play “despite the occurrence of negative consequences” are also showing symptoms of the newly classified disorder.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is created by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), has yet to recognize gaming as an official condition. However, the guide does include internet gaming disorder as a potential problem to continue monitoring for future inclusion.