On May 25th, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially agreed1 to adopt the eleventh version of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11). These classifications will come into effect in 2022. Among the eleventh revision is the inclusion of recognizing “gaming disorder,” or gaming addiction, as a modern disease. The diagnosis of the gaming disorder is for an individual who lacks control over their gaming habits, prioritizes it over other daily activities, and continues this gaming habit despite the negative consequences over a course of at least 12 months.
This new addition has sparked debate in places like South Korea2 where it is home to a thriving esports industry. The labeling of gaming as a medical health problem is feared to bring economic downturn and stigmatization to the gaming business. However, with the advent of this new classification, more help and research will be done to shed light on technology-related behaviors.