Gaming culture has become so profitable and popularized over the past few years, it's seems normalized to spend hours on hours playing videos. Some have managed to make it a career while others simply dedicate their downtime to playing video games. Gaming addiction has been studied on numerous occasions and it's become a growing concern, especially with the evolution of gaming. According to Kotaku, the World Health Organization finally recognized gaming as an illness.


Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The 194 members of the World Health Organization have officially recognized video gaming addiction as an illness. A decision to add the addiction to its list of disorders was made earlier today at the 72nd World Health Assembly. The 11th edition of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, otherwise known as ICD-11, added "gaming disorder" after the 194 members deemed it a health concern during the assembly.

The ICD-11 defines "a gaming disorder as:

“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 decision has previously been combatted by gaming organizations like the Entertainment Software Association who claimed that the decision to add gaming to the list of illnesses “recklessly trivializes real mental health issues like depression and social anxiety disorder.”

The ICD goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.