The pattern of gaming behavior may be continuous or episodic and recurrent.
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In a statement in January, justifying the inclusion of gaming under the addiction head, World Health Organization said: "A decision on inclusion of gaming disorder in ICD-11 is based on reviews of available evidence and reflects a consensus of experts from different disciplines and geographical regions that were involved in the process of technical consultations undertaken by World Health Organization in the process of ICD-11 development".
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. From there gaming addicts will supposedly exhibit "impaired control of these behaviors even when the negative consequences occur, this behavior continues or escalates".
If the condition leads to significant distress and impairment in personal, familial, social, educational or occupational functioning.
It is classified as a "pattern of gaming, either online or offline that appreciably increases the risk of harmful physical or mental health consequences to the individual or to others around this individual".
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World Health Organization accepted the proposal that Gaming Disorder should be listed as a new issue based on scientific evidence.
Responding to the decision to including gaming addiction, the Video Games Coalition - an industry lobby group - said their products were "enjoyed safely and sensibly by more than 2 billion people worldwide" across all kinds of genres, devices and platforms. The statement is highly critical, citing contested and inconclusive data and concerns of misdiagnosis.
Some health care professionals believe that depression or anxiety could be linked to video game addiction, but the jury is out on which comes first.
It's worth noting that WHO's stance on gaming addiction is different from that of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the handbook used by health professionals in the US and other countries to help diagnose mental health disorders.
The ICD forms a basis for the WHO and other experts to see and respond to trends in health, and is also used by health insurers whose reimbursements depend on the classifications. Currently, gambling disorder is the only officially recognized behavioral addiction in the US, unlike in China and South Korea, which have rolled out treatment programs for gaming disorder.