According to the World Health Organisation “Gaming Disorder” will become a clinical diagnosis from 2018.
The condition is characterized, according to WHO, 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.
Symptoms and Condition of diagnosis:
impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context).
increasing priority is given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities.
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.
Exclusion to the above criteria of diagnosis is another type of mental health condition called “Hazardous Gaming” which has the following definition:
Hazardous gaming refers to a pattern of gaming, either online or offline that appreciably increases the risk of harmful physical or mental health consequences to the individual or to others around this individual. The increased risk may be from the frequency of gaming, from the amount of time spent on these activities, from the neglect of other activities and priorities, from risky behaviours associated with gaming or its context, from the adverse consequences of gaming, or from the combination of these. The pattern of gaming is often persisting in spite of awareness of increased risk of harm to the individual or to others