Obsessively playing video games can be so detrimental that the World Health Organization is going to recognise it as a mental health condition

Can playing too many video games be a mental health condition? In some circumstances, the World Health Organization thinks that it can be, New Scientist has learned.

The WHO is to include gaming disorder in its International Classification of Diseases for the first time. This widely used diagnostic manual was last updated in 1990, and the latest version – called ICD-11 – is set to be published in 2018.

The wording of the gaming disorder entry that will be included in ICD-11 is yet to be finalised, but the draft currently lists a variety of criteria clinicians could use to determine if a person’s gaming has become a serious health condition. According to this draft, someone has gaming disorder if they give increasing priority to gaming “to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests”, and that they will continue

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