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Video game addiction now considered a mental health disorder, according to World Health Organization

The New York Daily News - 5/27/2019

May 27-- May 27--Too much Fortnite could be an actual problem.

The World Health Organization approved its new version of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems Saturday, ratifying the industry standard for diagnosing "diseases disorders, injuries" and other health issues.

Among the changes is the addition of the so-called "gaming disorder," which falls under disorders due to substance use or addictive behaviors.

"Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior ('digital gaming' or 'video-gaming'), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline, manifested by:

1. impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context);

2. increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and

3. continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. The behavior pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning."

The distinction is not in how much gaming, but whether it gets in the way of work, social activities or education, according to the ICD.

Other diagnoses in the same category include gambling, alcoholism and caffeine addiction.

The new revision goes into effect Jan. 1.

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