A gambling disorder is a real illness

Game Disorder: Video game addiction is recognized as a disease


The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies video game addiction as a disease for the first time. The classification should become official in 2018.

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“You are addicted to video games” - this is a statement that many who enjoy playing video games should have heard. What was previously only a personal assessment can in future be a real diagnosis: The World Health Organization (WHO) recognized video game addiction as a disease for the first time.

In a draft of the new statistical classification of diseases and related health problems (ICD), the WHO lists video game addiction as a disease. Version 11 of the globally recognized classification system, which is now available as a draft, is to be officially adopted in May 2018.

Video game addiction is classified as a pattern of persistent or recurring gaming behavior that can occur on the Internet or offline. In doing so, control is lost (e.g. beginning, frequency, intensity, duration, ending, context) and playing takes on a priority that has a restrictive effect on other aspects of life. Even with negative effects, the game continues.

According to the WHO, the behavior pattern is so severe that it leads to considerable impairments in personal, family, social, educational, professional or other important functional areas. The pattern of gaming behavior can be continuous or episodic and repetitive.

One is considered addicted if the gambling behavior and other characteristics are visible over a period of at least twelve months. The required duration can be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.

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