« Back to News

Global coalition expresses concerns on the inclusion of gaming disorder in the WHO ICD-11 list

Games industry responds to WHO publication

In view of the publication by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) list, organisations representing games industry across the world have expressed their concern at the inclusion of Gaming Disorder, issuing a joint statement:


Video games across all kinds of genres, devices and platforms are enjoyed safely and sensibly by more than 2 billion people worldwide, with the educational, therapeutic, and recreational value of games being well-founded and widely recognised. We are therefore concerned to see ‘gaming disorder’ still contained in the latest version of the WHO’s ICD-11 despite significant opposition from the medical and scientific community. The evidence for its inclusion remains highly contested and inconclusive. We hope that the WHO will reconsider the mounting evidence put before them before proposing inclusion of ‘gaming disorder’ in the final version of ICD-11 to be endorsed next year. We understand that our industry and supporters around the world will continue raising their voices in opposition to this move and urge the WHO to avoid taking steps that would have unjustified implications for national health systems across the world.

Ukie, alongside our global partners, have have developed a dialogue with the World Health Organisation following engagement with them at the recent World Health Assembly in Geneva. ICD-11 will be presented at the World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption by Member States, and will come into effect on 1 January 2022.

The publication today is in preparation for when it will be voted on and only then adopted by the WHO in 2019. This allows for any further review, input and implementation questions to be answered and addressed, including further input from health professionals as well as a clear understanding of how health authorities across the world may interpret it.