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WHO Recognizes "Gaming Disorder"

Bloomberg reports that beginning in 2022 the World Health Organization will officially recognize "gaming disorder" as a, well, gaming disorder. This is the listing describes this as involving "impaired control over gaming," "increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities," and "continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences." Unsurprisingly, the Entertainment Software Association has issued a statement refuting this finding. This is from the introduction: "The WHO is an esteemed organization and its guidance needs to be based on regular, inclusive, and transparent reviews backed by independent experts. ‘Gaming disorder’ is not based on sufficiently robust evidence to justify inclusion in one of the WHO’s most important norm-setting tools." Here is the statement that follows:

“The global video game industry—including representatives from across Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, South Africa, and Brazil—today called on World Health Organization (WHO) Member States to re-examine at an early date its decision to include “Gaming Disorder” in the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).

“The WHO is an esteemed organization and its guidance needs to be based on regular, inclusive, and transparent reviews backed by independent experts. ‘Gaming disorder’ is not based on sufficiently robust evidence to justify its inclusion in one of the WHO’s most important norm-setting tools.”

The interactive entertainment industry plays a leading role in the development of emerging technologies, including virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and big data analysis. It is significant in advancing in research science across many fields ranging from mental health, dementia, cancer, and pioneer advances in accessibility. At the same time, the industry developed world-class consumer protection tools including parental controls and responsible game-education initiatives to ensure the players are able to engage in the safest environments.

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