Ukie statement on the recent dialogue between the World Health Organization and the video games sector.
The purpose of the consultation was to provide the WHO with information on the video game industry, and discuss the part that video games and other industries could play in contributing to public health objectives.
Our statement regarding the meeting is as follows:
“As an industry we welcomed the opportunity to speak to the WHO about the positive impact that videos games have on players and society around the world but we also remain concerned that ‘gaming disorder’ is still in the latest version of the WHO’s ICD-11. This is despite considerable opposition from the medical and scientific community and continued concern about the un-transparent process through which this was arrived at.
“In the UK over 30 million people play games; with over 2 billion people worldwide enjoying games safely and sensibly. Leading mental health experts have cautioned repeatedly that classifying ‘Gaming Disorder’ creates a risk of misdiagnosis for those who most need help and any decision about including gaming disorder must therefore be based on robust and unequivocal evidence.
“We hope that through continued dialogue, with us and the wider scientific community, the WHO will reconsider the mounting evidence put before them before the final version of ICD-11 is endorsed next year. We also hope that they can demonstrate a transparent and due process as this decision will have implications on national health systems across the world.
“The games industry takes its responsibility to players, particularly children, very seriously. We are committed to collaborating with stakeholders, researchers, policymakers, parents and carers, to ensure best practice in ratings, parental controls, and the wide range of tools that can be used to limit the time spent playing and promote health game play. We also work hard to let parents and carers know about how to play games safely and sensibly through resources such as askaboutgames.com.”