The World Health Organisation (WHO) has, for the first time, tagged compulsive video gaming as a mental health condition in its updated classification manual released on Monday.
The UN health agency said video game addiction should now officially read ‘gaming disorder’.
“For gaming disorder to be diagnosed, the behaviour pattern must be of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning,’’ WHO said.
It added that such behavioural pattern would normally have been evident for at least 12 months.
The formal designation of “gaming disorder” within WHO’s International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) was welcomed by some groups as helpful to sufferers.
Others, however, saw the official designation as causing needless concern among parents.