The global body reached the decision to categorize burnout as a medical condition during its recently concluded World Health Assembly in Geneva.
The updated ICD list, dubbed ICD-11, was drafted a year ago following recommendations from health experts around the world, and was approved on Saturday.
The definition included in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases describes gaming disorder as "a pattern of gaming behavior ("digital-gaming" or "video-gaming") characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences".
The ICD-11, which is to take effect in January 2022, contains several other additions, including classification of "compulsive sexual behaviour" as a mental disorder, although it stops short of lumping the condition together with addictive behaviours.
The WHO state that, to be diagnosed with the disorder, "The pattern of gaming behavior may be continuous or episodic and recurrent", and requires a 12 month period to assign an official diagnosis - that is, unless symptoms are "severe" enough to warrant a more prompt classification.More news: Newcastle silent as takeover rumours grow
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In the page, the World Health Organization says the decision to include Gaming Disorder in ICD-11 came after reviewing "available evidence" reflecting a "consensus of experts from different disciplines and geographical regions".
Some video games make you want to play for hours and hours, but the World Health Organization has officially recognized video game addiction as a public health crisis. By defining the disorder, WHO anticipates health providers around the world will be more likely to recognize and treat people who suffer from the issue.
It added that gaming was the right of teenagers, but the World Health Organization decision to officially designate it as a disease gave teenagers a sense of guilt when playing video games. "Gaming disorder" is not based on sufficiently robust evidence to justify inclusion in one of the WHO's most important norm-setting tools", reads the ESA statement. But a journal paper published past year by 36 academics, mental health professionals, and social scientists has also opposed the WHO decision to recognize gaming disorder.
Twin Galaxies will continue to update this story as more develops.