The World Health Organization Says ‘Gaming Disorder’ is Now a Thing


Do your kids game too much? According to the World Health Organization, it could be a valid mental health condition. A new classification will be defined in the 11th edition of the WHO’s International Classification of Diseases: Gaming Disorder.

But don’t jump the gun and assume that little Bobby is mentally ill because he plays Fortnite every evening. The prevalence of this condition is “very low” according to the WHO.

In order to be officially diagnosed, gamers must meet certain features. First, they must prioritize gaming over pretty much every other activity. Next, they must continue or even escalate their behavior after negative consequences. And finally, they must experience impairment in personal, family, social, educational or occupational functioning. All three features must occur for at least one year.

For most gamers — even avid ones — the new diagnosis does not apply.