According ICD-11, a diagnosis of gaming disorder is appropriate for a person who, over a period of at least 12 months, lacks control over their gaming habits, prioritizes gaming over other interests and activities, and continues gaming despite its negative consequences.
Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (“digital gaming” or “video-gaming”), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline, manifested by:
- Impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context).
- Increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities.
- Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.
The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The pattern of gaming behaviour results in marked distress or significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.