WHO urged to reconsider gaming disorder

Games industry asks the world body to hold fire on finalising addiction to video games as a medical condition

Video games are compelling, but does playing them too much constitute a medical condition?

The gaming industry is trying to avoid "gaming disorder" becoming a formally recognised ailment.

The WHO, which has spent years looking into the addictive nature of video games, put "gaming disorder" on its list of health problems last year, a decision set to be endorsed by governments in May, with potential impacts on, for example, healthcare policy and insurance.

The US gaming industry group discussed the issue with WHO officials in Geneva last month, both sides said.

"It's our hope that through continued dialogue, we can help the WHO avoid rushed action and mistakes that could take years to correct," Entertainment Software Association (ESA) head Stanley Pierre-Louis said in a statement.

The ESA called for "more conversation and education" before any classification was finalised.