The World Health Organisation (WHO) has voted unanimously to recognise video game addiction as an official disease.
The disorder is characterised as persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour – to the extent that it affects a person’s life and “daily activities”.
The WHO says that for a person to be diagnosed with video game addiction, their behaviour pattern is “of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning”.
This gaming behaviour is “normally evident over a period of at least 12 months”.
At the 72nd World Health Assembly, all 194 members of the WHO unanimously agreed to adopt the revision and it will come into effect on January 1 2022.
The organisation included video game addiction within the 11th revision of its International Classification of Diseases last year, after concerns were raised that the gaming industry encouraged compulsive play.