May 25, 2019 – The global video game industry, including representatives from across Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, South Africa, and Brazil, called on World Health Organization (WHO) Member States to rethink their decision today to include “Gaming Disorder” in the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11)….
ESA CEO Stan Pierre-Louis recently had the chance to speak at the prestigious DICE Summit, where he had the pleasure of discussing where video games are heading in 2019 with some of the most intrepid leaders in our industry. It was also an opportunity to reflect on the challenges our industry faces and how we’re working to address them.
“It’s our hope that through continued dialogue we can help the WHO avoid rushed action and mistakes that could take years to correct. The billions of video game players around the world who will be affected by an ICD-11 classification error deserve action based on meticulous research. As an industry we are committed to collaborating with stakeholders, researchers, policymakers, and parents to ensure best-in-class ratings, parental controls, and other tools help video game players and parents understand and manage healthy video game play.”
36 internationally renowned and respected mental health experts, leading social scientists and academics from research centers and universities – including Oxford University, Johns Hopkins University, Stockholm University and The University of Sydney – will oppose, in an upcoming journal paper, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) plan to create a new gaming disorder classification. The experts’ paper (‘A Weak Scientific Basis for Gaming Disorder: Let us err on the side of caution’) will appear in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions.
“The empirical basis for a Gaming Disorder proposal, such as in the new ICD-11, suffers from fundamental issues. Our main concerns are the low quality of the research base, the fact that the current operationalization leans too heavily on substance use and gambling criteria, and the lack of consensus on symptomatology and assessment of problematic gaming.”
“The World Health Organization knows that common sense and objective research prove video games are not addictive. And, putting that official label on them recklessly trivializes real mental health issues like depression and social anxiety disorder, which deserve treatment and the full attention of the medical community. We strongly encourage the WHO to reverse direction on its proposed action.”