The global video game industry—including representatives from across Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, South Africa, and Brazil—today called on World Health Organization (WHO) Member States to reexamine at an early date its decision to include “Gaming Disorder” in the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).

The WHO is an esteemed organization and its guidance needs to be based on regular, inclusive, and transparent reviews backed by independent experts. ‘Gaming disorder’ is not based on sufficiently robust evidence to justify its inclusion in one of the WHO’s most important norm-setting tools.

Statement from Global Video Game Industry Associations:

“There is significant debate among medical and professionals about today’s WHO action. We are concerned they reached their conclusion without the consensus of the academic community. The consequences of today’s action could be far-reaching, unintended, and to the detriment of those in need of genuine help.

“We encourage and support healthy game play by providing information and tools, such as parental controls, that empower billions of people around the world to manage their play to ensure it remains enjoyable and enriching. As with all good things in life, moderation is key and that finding the right balance is an essential part of safe and sensible play.”

The interactive entertainment industry plays a leading role in the development of emerging technologies, including virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and big data analysis. It is significant in advancing in research science across many fields ranging from mental health, dementia, cancer, and pioneer advances in accessibility. At the same time, the industry developed world-class consumer protection tools including parental controls and responsible game-education initiatives to ensure the players are able to engage in the safest environments.


For further information, please contact:

Dan Hewitt for the Entertainment Software Association (USA), dhewitt@theesa.com
Corinne Crichlow for the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, ccrichlow@theesa.ca
Raelene Knowles for IGEA (Australia and New Zealand), raelene@igea.net
Heidi Lambert for ISFE (Europe), heidilambert@hlcltd.demon.co.uk
Estela Jeon for K GAMES (South Korea), estela@gamek.or.kr
Tim Scott for UKIE (United Kingdom), tim@ukie.ork.uk

ESA      ESAClogo_small      IGEA         ISFE     kgames      UKIE      IESA   EGDFUBVG


WHO Public Statement
 – PDF

Posted May 27, 2019