Is video game addiction a disease?

12, Jun. 2019

Controversies over gaming addiction after WHO categorizes the condition as a mental illness WHO

Gaming addiction has been officially recognized as a mental illness, in the 11th edition of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases, released on May 25 local time in Switzerland. The gaming industry has voiced their concerns over the ruling, saying there is insufficient evidence to conclude that gaming addiction is a disease, and that the ruling could propagate unfounded fears over video games in general.

On the other hand, the medical community had welcomed the decision, saying the WHO classification would allow for more effective preventative measures and treatment of gaming addiction. The WHO ruling has drawn mixed reactions from members of both the government and the public, while concerns have also been raised about its economic impact on the global gaming market.

In this week’s edition of ‘Foreign Correspondences’, we sit down with our panel of journalist to discuss all of these issues and more, regarding the WHO’s stance on gaming addiction.

Fabian Kretschmer / Deutsche Welle

Kelly Kasulis / Bloomberg BNA

Sakabe Tetsuo / NNA