Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Can You Be Addicted to Video Games? The WHO Certainly Thinks So

December 20, 2017

If you think you have a gaming problem, you might be right. New Scientist reports ($) that the World Health Organization will include gaming disorders in its updated International Classification of Diseases in 2018. But there’s some debate about whether or not it’s a good idea.

The definition: The WHO will diagnose someone as having a gaming disorder if playing video games “takes precedence over other life interests,” continues even if it causes negative impacts on other aspects of life, and persists, usually for a year or more.

The case against: Allen Frances at Duke University in North Carolina warns New Scientist that it could lead to a flood of people being diagnosed with conditions when they’re actually just passionate. “Perhaps hundreds of millions of recreational gamers without severe impairment will likely be … overtreated,” he says.

But: The WHO has rejected other technological disorders, such as smartphone and Internet addiction, saying that there is a “a lack of evidence” to suggest they’re real.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Our best illustrations of 2022

Our artists’ thought-provoking, playful creations bring our stories to life, often saying more with an image than words ever could.

How CRISPR is making farmed animals bigger, stronger, and healthier

These gene-edited fish, pigs, and other animals could soon be on the menu.

The Download: the Saudi sci-fi megacity, and sleeping babies’ brains

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. These exclusive satellite images show Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway In early 2021, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia announced The Line: a “civilizational revolution” that would house up…

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.