For the first time, the World Health Organization has officially designated “gaming disorder” among its list of mental-health addictive behaviors.
The move touches off a dispute among some researchers and clinicians over whether there is science to back the decision and how it might affect children, families, and educators.
Schools are increasingly embracing the use of digital gaming in the classroom to engage students. At the same time, debate is growing among educators about students’ obsession with digital games such as Fortnite. Some educators say the game has become a major classroom distraction, while others are finding ways to use it to better engage students.
WHO released the latest version of its International Classification of Diseases last month. The new guide, which hadn’t been updated since 1993, defines gaming disorder as so severe that it causes significant impairment of social, educational, and interpersonal interactions.
A version of this article appeared in the July 18, 2018 edition of Education Week as World Health Organization Classifies ‘Gaming Disorder’ as an Addiction