Addiction to Computer Games will be Included in the Updated World Health Organization International Classification of Diseases Guide (ICD-11)


The World Health Organization has published (18 JUN 2018) the new edition of its disease classification guide (ICD-11: International Classification of Diseases). This guide defines all existing diseases and disorders and it constitutes an international standard for defining diagnoses and reporting on the diseases and health conditions.

In the new edition, addiction to computer games has been added as a new diagnosis in the category of disorders due to addictive behavior.

The guide states that addiction to computer games is a disorder characterized by a pattern of behavior of prolonged or repeated playing (digital or video), online (via the internet) or not. Some characteristics of the disorder include preferring playing over other areas of life and daily activities, and continuing the same gaming patterns despite negative consequences.

Computer games addiction disorder will be considered to exist when the behavioral pattern is severe enough to result in significant reduction in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other areas of function.

The new edition of the guide was published in June, as stated, in order to allow countries an opportunity to prepare for its implementation.

The guide will be presented at World Health Organization conference in May 2019 and it will be possible to use it from January 2020.