World Health Organisation Warns Of "Gaming Disorder"

World Health Organisation Warns Of "Gaming Disorder"
Niall Colbert
Niall Colbert

8 Feb 2018

Addictive gaming could soon be labelled as a disorder.

The World Health Organisation has listed a 'gaming disorder' in a draft revision of its diagnostic manual which is called the "International Classification of Diseases".

WHO defines it as someone who gives 'increasing priority to gaming over other activities' and allows it to escalate despite negative consequences.

The gaming industry in the US and the UK have both spoken out against the inclusion.

Clinical Psychologist Mark Smyth believes diagnosing someone with such a disorder is unfair.

"It's a very popular view but there's absolutely no evidence to substantiate it. We have to ask ourselves is this a unique difficulty or reflective of other concerns."

He added "For young people that I see who might be socially anxious, or depressed, and as a result they retreat into the safety of their bedroom to play games. Why mislabel this as an additional disorder and further stigmatize that young person?

Mr. Smyth also hit out at the title of the manual "There's absolutely no evidence to show that this behaviour has any disease-type origins. The spread of what their classifying a disorder could make a disorder out of any passionate interest such as shopping or exercise. We have to ask the question - when will it stop and what else will they be adding to this manual?"