gaming disorder

ESA and WHO Officials Held Meeting to Discuss Issue of Gaming Disorder Classification

The World Health Organization caused a stir last year when it decided to list gaming addiction as a disorder. The move attracted criticism from various industry bodies including E3 organizer, Entertainment Software Association, UK Interactive Entertainment, and the Interactive Software Federation of Europe.

WHO defended its decision, arguing that the classification followed its comprehensive rules and procedures. At the time, it seemed like the organization had no plans to enter into discussions with industry bodies as it wanted to “avoid interference from commercial and other entities which may have vested interest in the outcome of the process.”

However, it looks like the WHO has softened its stance and decided to hold a dialogue with the ESA, UKIE, and ISFA. All four organizations have confirmed that they held a meeting in Geneva in December 2018 to discuss the issue, and have plans for ongoing engagement.

“It’s our hope that through continued dialogue we can help the WHO avoid rushed action and mistakes that could take years to correct,” said ESA’s Chief Executive Officer, Stanley Pierre-Louis. “The billions of video game players around the world who will be affected by an ICD-11 classification error deserve action based on meticulous research.”

In a statement to Games Industry, the UKIE added that the classification creates a risk of misdiagnosis, and WHO’s decisions must be based on “robust and unequivocal evidence.”

The ISFE echoed this position, arguing that there is a “lack of substantive evidence to justify this [WHO’s] proposed classification,” and that there is a “lack of transparency in the classification process.”

We’ll update our readers if there are any further developments.

[Source: Games Industry]