Addiction to video games is a mental health condition according to the World Health Organization. It’s going to add it to an official list used for both diagnosis and statistics.
The condition “gaming disorder” is scheduled to be part of the 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases, which is being updated for the first time in 26 years. The list is a template for countries to use in their own systems, making it easier to compare and track a condition worldwide over time.
Unlike a physical condition that’s diagnosed by symptoms, “gaming disorder” will be diagnosed and classified based mainly on the effect it has on the players life, particularly if they continue playing despite knowing and seeing that it causes problems with other areas of their life. The threshold is set as “significant impairment” on other areas of life.
The listing of the condition notes that it should usually only be diagnosed when it’s evident the problems have been happening for at least a year. The only exception would be in the case of severe symptoms.