Disputed Gaming Disorder classification is unjustified: Europe’s video games industry reacts to WHA adoption of ICD-11

25/05/2019

In the absence of robust scientific evidence, the European video games industry (Video Games Europe) calls on Member States of the World Health Assembly (the decision-making arm of the World Health Organisation), to give careful consideration before implementing the newly-adopted, much-disputed “Gaming Disorder” in the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).

The video games sector makes an important contribution to society and the economy but, most importantly, takes its responsibility to the players extremely seriously, and to minors in particular.

Video Games Europe CEO Simon Little said “The WHO is a highly-esteemed organization and its guidance needs to be based on robust, regular, inclusive and transparent reviews backed by independent experts.  We are concerned that ‘Gaming disorder’ is not based on sufficiently robust evidence to justify inclusion in one of the WHO’s most important norm-setting tools.  Once set in stone, conditions can be left on this list for many years inappropriately.  Video Games Europe unites with video games associations globally to call on Member States to review the inclusion of “Gaming Disorder” in ICD-11, to engage with the large community of experts in this field and, ultimately, to remove “gaming disorder” from the category of mental health disorders (ICD 11).”

The interactive entertainment industry plays a leading role in the development of emerging technologies, including virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and big data analysis. It is significant in advancing in research science across many fields ranging from mental health, dementia and, cancer and pioneer advances in accessibility, and provide pathways into STEM-based engineering careers.  At the same time, it has developed world class consumer protection tools including parental controls and responsible game education initiatives to ensure the players are able to engage in the safest environments.

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Gamers are at the heart of what we do.

Video Games Europe ensures that the voice of a responsible video games ecosystem is heard and understood, that its creative and economic potential is supported and celebrated, and that gamers around the world continue to enjoy great gaming experiences.  

www.healthyvideogaming.org