Representational Image
Representational ImageCreative Commons

The World Health Organisation (WHO) will include "gaming disorder" in its international list of illnesses next year.

Yes, being addicted to games is actually a mental illness, and parents should keep a closer eye on their kids glued to video games.

WHO came to the decision of adding gaming disorder to its list after monitoring computer gaming for more than a decade.

According to Daily Mail: "The draft wording of its diagnostic manual says someone has a gaming disorder if gaming takes precedence over other life interests. The unhealthy behaviour will have had to continue for at least a year before the diagnosis is confirmed."

WHO also said gaming disorder is wider than just video-gaming disorder.

Vladimir Poznyak, at the WHO's Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, said: "Health professionals need to recognise that gaming disorder may have serious health consequences."

Poznyak added: "Most people who play video games don't have a disorder, just like most people who drink alcohol don't have a disorder either. However, in certain circumstances overuse can lead to adverse effects."

Also, the draft wording of the gaming disorder entry states that the sufferers will continue to play games even when it leads to "negative consequences."

The agency, however, has not listed other conditions linked to technology, like smartphone or internet addiction, as there's a lack of evidence on whether they are "real disorders."

Last year, researchers from the University of Oxford's Internet Institute did a study to find out the percentage of gamers who are addicted to playing video games.

The study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, found that 2-3 percent of the 19,000 men and women who participated from the UK, the US, Canada and Germany admitted that they experienced five or more of the symptoms from the checklist of health symptoms of American Psychiatric Association.

Dr Andrew Przybylski, lead author from the University of Oxford study, said: "To our knowledge, these are the first findings from a large-scale project to produce robust evidence on the potential new problem of 'internet gaming disorder,'" he said.