Too much video gaming may soon be classified as a mental, behavioral or neurodevelopmental disorder, according to a new draft of clinical diseases by the World Health Organization (WHO) Wednesday.
Although not finalized, the gaming disorder newly classified by WHO refers to an addictive behavior of “persistent or recurrent” gaming where one has “impaired control” to the point where it takes priority over other daily activities, and the behavior escalates despite negative consequences.
The update from WHO comes as the first in 28 years, when it was last revised in 1990.
Psychiatrists may diagnose the disorder if the outlined behavior persists for at least 12 months, the organization said. WHO may make the diagnosis earlier if symptoms are severe and all criteria are met, it added.
WHO will publish the final version of the International Classification of Diseases in May, it said.
The Korean law has restricted adolescents from using the Internet starting midnight to 6 a.m. since 2011 to curb video game addictions, which has been criticized for being ineffective. A separate statute has also barred people from spending over 500,000 won ($478) a month on board games such as poker and other card games since 2014.
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