|'GAMING DISORDER' DEFINED AS DISEASE|
The World Health Organization is set to recognize addiction to video and online games as an illness. It says the move may encourage countries to develop treatments and properly monitor trends for what's known as "gaming disorder."
The WHO said on Friday that the illness will be included in its International Classification of Diseases, which will be released in mid-2018. The organization says the condition is identifiable when gaming becomes such an obsession that it takes precedence over everything else. It says the disorder should be diagnosed if the behavior continues for at least 12 months.
Addiction to online gaming has become a global issue. The trend has been fueled by the spread of smartphones and easier access to the Internet. But the condition has lacked both a standardized definition and statistics.
The International Classification of Diseases is used to compare data on health and deaths globally. It's referenced by medical practitioners and researchers worldwide.