Los Angeles Times

World Health Organization says video game addiction is a disease. Why American psychiatrists don't

The World Health Organization has made it official: digital games can be addictive, and those addicted to them need help.

In the latest edition of its International Classification of Diseases, released Monday, the United Nations agency concluded that people whose jobs, educations, family or social lives have been upended by video games probably meet the criteria for a new form of addiction called "gaming disorder."

If a person has escalated or persisted in his or her gaming behavior despite clearly negative consequences, that further seals the deal, the new guidelines say.

The behavior should be "of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment" and may be "continuous or episodic and recurrent," the WHO's diagnostic manual notes. While "normally evident over a period of at least 12 months," a diagnosis may be in order sooner in cases where impairment is

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