Anyone who’s ever misplaced an hour engrossed in Candy Crush can acknowledge that video games have a distinctly addictive high quality. But whereas it’s simple to throw across the phrase “addicted,” extreme gaming could be a actual, critical, and typically lethal situation that tens of millions of individuals—notably younger individuals—undergo from, and now the World Health Organization is contemplating formally recognizing it as a illness.

When extreme, individuals with video recreation habit put gaming above even their very own wellbeing, forgetting to wash, sleep, and even eat. It can result in despair and withdrawal signs, and excessive gaming addicts have died from lack of sleep.

The WHO’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is like an encyclopedia of all recognized ailments, and it’s the diagnostic customary for well being businesses internationally, used to observe statistics and report on epidemiology. It’s up to date practically yearly and the draft model for 2018 consists of, for the primary time, a list for gaming habit.

Dubbed “gaming dysfunction” within the ICD, habit is described as “a sample of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour” that features “impaired management over gaming, growing precedence given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes priority over different life pursuits and each day actions; and continuation or escalation of gaming regardless of the prevalence of destructive penalties.” It additionally famous that the conduct should be so excessive that it’s inflicting “vital impairment” to the remainder of the individual’s life, comparable to household, college, or work.

Read extra: Confessions of a Semi-Reformed Video Game Completionist

Since that is solely the draft model, we are able to’t say for sure that the WHO will embody gaming habit in its ultimate replace. But it’s been acknowledged underneath the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the guide revealed by the American Psychiatric Association that classifies psychological problems, since 2013, so it’s not as if the medical group doesn’t already acknowledge the toll of this dysfunction.

People who don’t recreation might have hassle taking such a dysfunction critically, however having it formally listed by the UN’s well being group will assist extra individuals notice the hazard, and permit extra individuals to get assist.

Get six of our favourite Motherboard tales day-after-day by signing up for our publication .

This article sources data from Motherboard