Do your friends tell you that you play too many video games? First of all, get that kind of negativity out of your life! But, play with caution, as The World Health Organization (WHO) might soon say you suffer from “gaming disorder.”

A draft of WHO’s 11th update of International Classification of Diseases characterizes the new disorder as “recurrent” gaming behavior manifested by “impaired control over gaming,” “increasing priority given to gaming,” and “escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”

The term “gaming disorder” isn’t limited to excessive time spent playing video games in the entry as the disorder could include adverse online and offline behavior tied to excessive video game activity, according to WHO spokesperson Tarik Jašarević. He explained:

“In a number of countries, the problem has become a significant public health concern.”

The entry includes a clinical description, but not prevention and treatment options. The description is as follows:

Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (‘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 behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.

The ICD disorders are scheduled to be published in 2018. For more information, visit the WHO website!