Video game addiction classified as a disease
The World Health Organisation is to include “gaming disorder” in its International Classification of Diseases released today.
It will now notify governments around the world that they should incorporate "gaming disorder" into their health systems.
This means that the condition will now be treated on the NHS.
Experts have said thousands of young people could be affected adversely by video gaming, with no NHS services to support them.
Other studies have also shown that playing games can have a positive impact on many areas of health.
Gaming disorder is defined as a pattern of gaming behaviour characterised 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.
For gaming disorder to be diagnosed, the behaviour pattern must be of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and would normally have been evident for at least 12 months.
Video gaming is a booming industry, with 2.6 billion people playing around the world.
The current most popular game among adults and children alike is online shooter Fortnite. Its publisher Epic Games recently announced a world-record prize pot of $100 million for players.
After Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Matt Hancock also recently said children need to have a balanced lifestyle away from screens, industry veteran Simon Smith dismissed the negative press surrounding Fortnite to BusinessCloud.