The World Health Organization, the medical branch of the United Nations, has included gaming addiction in their newest revision to the internal classification of diseases index.
That index, the ICD-11, is due out in 2018 and the current draft defines gaming addiction as a prioritization of gaming above all else and impaired control over the act. That kind of behavior pattern is typicall indicitive of an addiction, so naturally gaming would be no different.
“The behavior pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, or other important areas of functioning,” reads the current draft. “The gaming behavior and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.”
Official recognition means that it’s likely official diagnoses are likely not far down the line.
Gaming addiction, while not officially recognized yet, does have a death toll at this point and its sad to see we had to get that far before recognition came. That said, it is hopeful the index classification will help prevent future cases of extreme gaming addiction.