The World Health Organisation now recognises gaming addiction as a disease so you can totally use the disabled parking bay next time you go shopping

[Okay, so Christine had already published an article about this but I didn’t even see it because I obviously have gaming disorder or something. Or because it’s, you know, Monday.]

Actually, maybe don’t, but it’s not like you ever leave the house, so it probably doesn’t even matter. BEAT THE SYSTEM.

So anyway, in a vote at the recent World Health Assembly, the WHO has decided to include “gaming disorder” as a for-real thing in the next revision of the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11), effective from 1 January 2022.

According to the ICD-11, “gaming disorder” is defined as “impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences”.

Not unexpectedly, however, this is controversial. Video game industry reps from Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, South Africa, and Brazil have since issued a statement asking the WHO to “rethink” this decision, explaining that there is “significant debate among medical and professionals” about the validity and consequences of such a diagnosis.

“Gaming disorder” is not based on sufficiently robust evidence to justify inclusion in one of the WHO’s most important norm-setting tools.

Academic opposition also focuses on the problem of a “gaming disorder” not being a mental illness, as such, but instead a symptom of some other issue like depression, social anxiety, or existential ennui between the otherwise comparatively dismal prospects of avocado prices going up, a climate apocalypse, and no confirmation of a new season of Lucifer on Netflix. I added that last one, but I think it’s important too.

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