The potential risks of playing too many video games have been debated since arcades, home consoles and computers began going mainstream in the 1970s and 80s. But the World Health Organization announced on Monday that it is labeling “gaming disorder” as a mental health condition for the first time, and has included the term in its updated International Classification of Disease being published this year.
WHO doesn’t give a specific window for whether four hours, 12 or 24 counts as too much time gaming. It warns that the digital distraction becomes a disorder when “increasing priority [is] given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities,” and if the person continues to play or escalates how much they play despite negative consequences, such as interfering with their work or education, dissolving their relationships and hurting their personal health. more