Concerned parents have thought about this for a while, and now they have a more tangible reason to limit their children’s ‘screen time’. The World Health Organisation recently recognized addiction to video games as a mental health disorder.
The WHO’s latest list of diseases calls addiction to digital and video gaming as “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour” that becomes so extensive that it “takes precedence over other life interests”.
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The list is part of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which was created a decade back and has been updated since then. Covering 55,000 injuries, diseases and causes of death it serves as a basis for the WHO and other experts to see and respond to trends in health.
“It enables us to understand so much about what makes people get sick and die, and to take action to prevent suffering and save lives,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement as the ICD was published.