Classification of game addiction as a disease by the World Health Organization in 2022

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World Health Organization

Classification of game addiction as a disease by the World Health Organization in 2022, In a recent vote, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially approved the classification of video game addiction or game disruption as a disease. 

The unanimous vote means that game disorders will be officially added with ICD reviews, known as the International Classification of Diseases, and will come into force on January 1, 2022. 

While WHO classifies game addiction as a disease earlier this year, today's vote and the 72nd World Health Assembly Review and made the classification officially.

ICD-11, the newly adopted ICD-11, defines game disruption as a pattern of fixed or repetitive behavior that may be connected or offline, as evidenced by:

Weak control of games (eg, start, frequency, density, duration, termination, context)

To give increased priority to games to the extent that games have priority over life and other daily activities

The continuation or escalation of games despite the occurrence of negative consequences. The pattern of behavior is so serious that it leads to significant disability in the areas of personal, family, social, educational, professional or other important areas.

Essentially, definition defines video game addiction to the point at which an individual begins to place games as a priority over other tasks and necessities - usually motivated to play video games rather than doing anything else. 

Although the ICD is not necessarily legal, it is a good measure to be assessed by evaluating and diagnosing the doctors, which means that the newly added game disorder can easily be applied to patients seeking treatment for one reason or another.


The Entertainment Programs Association, which created ESRB, resisted the definition when WHO identified these changes last year. 

The European Space Agency reported that video games are not addictive and urged the WHO to "reverse the trend" on the proposal of classification.

Fortnite is one of the most common examples that many people see when discussing game addiction because of its widespread prevalence among young people. 
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A study conducted last year showed that video games can be as addictive as drugs to some audiences, and this is probably why WHO has taken steps to lay the foundation for such disorders.

While addictions are still low, only time will determine whether the number will increase with the new classification when it comes into effect in 2022.

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