MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – As video games like Fortnite have become a ubiquitous social phenomenon for teenagers, there’s growing concern in the medical community about video game addiction.
On Monday, the World Health Organization added “gaming disorder” to a draft of its International Classification of Diseases (IDC), The New York Times reports.
The highly-influential IDC is a gold standard for diagnostic classification, as it helps doctors around the world track trends of diseases and mental disorders.
How will the WHO classification of gaming disorder affect Americans?
Experts believe it might increase the chances that insurance companies cover treatment for video game addiction, which is often costly. In turn, it might also encourage those who can’t stop playing games to seek help.
“It’s going to untie our hands in terms of treatment, in that we’ll be able to treat patients and get reimbursed,” Dr. Petros Levounis, of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, told the newspaper.
Still, not all medical officials believe gaming disorder is a stand alone condition. Instead, they often see it as a side effect of depression or anxiety.