The World Health Organisation's latest reference bible of recognised and diagnosable diseases describes addiction to digital and video gaming as "a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour" that becomes so extensive that it "takes precedence over other life interests".
Visitors play video games on June 12, 2018, at a Nintendo of America Inc. booth at E3, a large-scale computer and video game event held in Los Angeles.
The ICD defines gaming disorder as an "impaired control", meaning that increasing priority is given to gaming.
To suffer from the disease you must "experience significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of function" and you must have lived with this for at least one year'.
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World Health Organization says on its website that all people who participate in gaming should be aware that gaming disorder is a real condition, and that it's important to be mindful of how often they play video games. Those who partake in gaming should be aware of time spent on gaming activity when it excludes other daily activities.
The games industry raked in $108 billion dollars worldwide in 2017, more than double movie box-office receipts, according to Superdata, which tracks the games and interactive media sector.
It is believed that between 1% and 6% of young people are addicted to video games. The evidence for its inclusion remains highly contested and inconclusive.
The U.S. video game industry - through its Entertainment Software Association lobbying group - threw its support behind several academics who opposed the WHO's efforts when it confirmed past year that they would include "gaming disorder" as a condition.
To be clear, the medical community isn't exactly rushing in to take everyone's video games away.
"Video gaming is like a non-financial kind of gambling from a psychological point of view", said Griffiths, a distinguished professor of behavioural addiction at Nottingham Trent University.
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