The World Health Organization is considering adding ‘gaming disorder’ to its International Classification of Diseases. The draft document describes it as a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour so severe that it takes “precedence over other life interests”.

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It will suggest that abnormal gaming behaviour should be in evidence over a period of at least 12 months ‘for a diagnosis to be assigned’ but added that period might be shortened ‘if symptoms are severe’.

Some countries had already recognised it as a major public health issue. In the UK, there are private addiction clinics to ‘treat’ the condition while in South Korea, the government has introduced a law banning access for children under 16 from online games between midnight and 6am.