As first reported by The Next Web, the WHO has finalized the 11th edition of its International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11), a diagnostic report used for the classification of disease and disorders in the medical world.
In order to shed more light on the current situation, WHO's expert Shekhar Saxena assures that this kind of addiction would "only affect a small section of gamers engaging in games for almost 20 hours a day and prioritizing games over meals, school, sleep, or other daily activities".
The WHO voted to recognise voted unanimously to recognise the condition at their World Health Assembly in Geneva.
The ICD-11 describes the condition as a syndrome "resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed". Also included in this section is gambling disorder.
For the diagnosis to take place the pattern of behaviour must be evident for at least 12 months while also significantly impacting upon one's personal life, education or career. The WHO stressed that "burnout" is not classified as a medical condition.
The WHO's decision has faced some criticism from those in the gaming industry, including the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association, which counts representatives from the US, UK, Canada, Australia and other countries around the world.
"'Gaming disorder' is not based on sufficiently robust evidence to justify its inclusion in one of the WHO's most important norm-setting tools", the statement adds, calling for a change to the ruling.
In the more extreme cases, experts found some individuals played video games for up to 20 hours a day and didn't eat or sleep, as well as engage in normal activities like school or work.
"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 behaviors associated with gaming or its context, from the adverse consequences of gaming, or from the combination of these".
According to global news agency AFP, transgenderism has been removed from the list of mental disorders, but remains listed under the chapter on "conditions related to sexual health".