this is the future
Go ahead — we'll wait for you to pause your game.
Now put the controller away. Got it? Great — because on Thursday, the South China Morning Post reported that the World Health Organization will officially recognize video game addiction as a mental health disorder in 2018.
The symptoms of "gaming disorder" are actually not all that different from a more traditional substance abuse disorder, save for the hangovers and physical withdrawals. If video games are more important to you than your social life, your work, and your desire to sleep and eat, or you can't stop playing even after you've faced "negative consequences" for your behavior, then you have a serious addiction, the WHO explains.
Per the WHO, the symptoms of gaming disorder usually have to be present over the course of 12 months in order to justify a diagnosis, although some patients may present their symptoms in a more rapid and severe manner.
The WHO's recognition of gaming disorder means that doctors and insurance companies will now be able to diagnose patients who can't put their controllers down. The South China Morning Post notes, however, that the WHO does not actually offer any solutions or treatments for gaming disorder, which is bad news for the approximately 10 percent of American children who can't turn off their consoles.