The proposed disorder falls under the category of substance abuse or addictive behaviors, which reads: "Disorders due to substance use and addictive behaviours are mental and behavioural disorders that develop as a result of the use of predominantly psychoactive substances, including medications, or specific repetitive rewarding and reinforcing behaviours". This isn't to dismiss the value of gaming disorder entirely, but to highlight the growing concern at moving forward without concrete evidence to support the connection between video games and true real life problems. There is no doubt that there are people who are likely to end up addicted to playing games, although this is more likely a symptom of some other issue.
Visitors play video games on June 12, 2018, at a Nintendo of America Inc. booth at E3, a large-scale computer and video game event held in Los Angeles. Before that happens, though, the games industry is determined to make its voice heard so that the World Health Organization may reconsider.
Almost 40 percent of those sales are in east Asia, especially China and South Korea. Other important markets include the US, Britain, France, Germany and Brazil.
"Millions of gamers around the world, even when it comes to the intense gaming, would never qualify as people suffering from gaming disorder", Poznyak said. "We understand that our industry and supporters around the world will continue raising their voices in opposition to this move and urge the WHO to avoid taking steps that would have unjustified implications for national health systems across the world".
The UN health agency said that classifying "Gaming Disorder" as a separate condition will "serve a public health goal for countries to be better prepared to identify this issue". "Very large numbers of people play games on- and off-line", the Department of Health & Social Care told Eurogamer.
In a study to be published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, a group of 36 researchers said there was insufficent evidence to warrant the new category. It urges the World Health Organization to reconsider before officially placing it in the final version of the medical classification document.
A critical point in engaging with the ICD is that inclusion or exclusion is not a judgement on the validity of a condition or the efficacy of treatment.
Last year, a study from almost 30 academics opposed the gaming disorder classification, saying their addiction was best viewed as a coping mechanism associated with underlying problems such as anxiety or depression.
This could pave the way for such treatments to be covered by insurance as insurance reimbursements are also based on ICD coding.