Gaming disorder is characterised by “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e. over the internet) or offline.”
A spokesperson for the WHO, Tarik Jasarevi, said that the decision was made “based on reviews of available evidence.”
WHO experts who studied the behaviour of gamers said that this behaviour is different from when using the internet, social media and online gambling.
According to an article on TIME, a new definition suggests that “gaming behaviour shifts into a disorder when it takes precedence over other daily activities and starts to impair a person’s relationships, school or work responsibilities for at least a year.”
While many agreed that this is considered a mental condition, other experts are not fully convinced.
An independent contractor on public mental health issues, Michelle Carras, said that while she believes that some “gaming behaviour can be problematic”, some of the factors highlighting the addictive and all-consuming nature of gaming, do not only include gaming but for general internet and smartphone use.
“The problem with gaming and other…new media is that they produce a different culture. But clinicians are approaching this behaviour from an understanding of a disorder based on a continuum of normative, recreational and problematic use rather than from the setting or context of a unique, new culture,” said.