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World Health Organization and ESA meet to discuss gaming disorder diagnosis



UPDATE: UKIE and ISFE also invited the WHO to "reconsider the growing evidence" during formal dialogue last month

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ORIGINAL STORY 10 / 1/2019: The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) today revealed that the two groups met in December last year to discuss the inclusion of the WHO in the last year of "game disorders" as an official addiction disorder. [19659005] The WHO formalized this official last June in its section on addiction disorders in the 11th International Classification of Diseases. The inclusion was welcomed with criticism from the entire gaming industry, with the ESA saying "incautiously trivializes real mental health problems like depression and social anxiety".

According to Reuters, the two groups met in Geneva last month to discuss the issue, exchange information and share opinions on upcoming WHO activities related to the sector and how games will play a role in those.

The ESA called "more conversation and education" before the WHO classifications were completed and became effective. [19659005] "Our hope is that through continuous dialogue we can help the WHO to avoid hasty actions and mistakes that could take years to correct," said ESA CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis. "The billions of video game players around the world who will be affected by an ICD-11 classification error deserve an action based on meticulous research.

" As an industry we are committed to collaborating with the parties interested parties, researchers, policy makers and parents to ensure that the best ratings, parental controls and other tools help videogame players and parents understand and manage a healthy video game game. "

The WHO has affirmed that another future meeting with ESA has been provisionally underway. [19659005] UPDATE: The UK business entity UKIE has issued its own declaration to GamesIndustry.biz on the dialogue between the industry that participated with the World Health Organization in December

The group said: "In the United Kingdom, over 30 million people play to games; with over 2 billion people around the world having fun in a safe and sensible way. Leading mental health experts have repeatedly cautioned that classifying "Gaming Disorder" creates a risk of misdiagnosis for those most in need of help, and any decision on the inclusion of the gambling disorder must therefore be based on solid evidence. and unequivocal.

"We hope that the dialogue continues, with us and the wider scientific community, WHO will reconsider the growing evidence put in place before the final version of the ICD-11 is approved next year. also that they can demonstrate a transparent and due process as this decision will have implications on national health systems all over the world.

"The video game industry takes the responsibility of the players, especially children, very seriously. We are committed to working with stakeholders, researchers, policymakers, parents and caregivers to ensure best practices in evaluations, parental controls and the wide range of tools that can be used to limit the time spent playing and promoting the game of health. We work hard to enable parents and carers to know how to play safely and sensibly through resources such as askaboutgames.com. "

UPDATE 2: Also the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) present and expressed concern about the" lack of substantial evidence to justify this proposed classification and the lack of transparency in the classification process ".

In a statement released at GamesIndustry.biz management Director Simon Little said:" Classify & # 39; disturbance of the game & # 39; under the category of mental health and dependence of the ICD-11 list can lead to misuse of misdiagnosis and misdiagnosis as such inclusion is not based on a high level of evidence, as would be required to formalize any other disorder. "


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