The WHO must first endorse the final version during a board meeting and World Health Assembly next year, with member states expected to start using ICD-11 on January 1, 2022.
According to the organization, the disorder is characterized by an impaired ability to control one's gaming habits, to the extent that it begins to negatively impact their daily activities and supersedes their other interests.
The condition will be added to the WHO's International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).
In spite of what may appear to be universal symptoms, however, the organization is quick to note that the prevalence of gaming disorder, as defined by the WHO, is actually "very low". They continue on to assure the masses that playing video games for hours on end doesn't necessarily mean you have the disorder, the situation must be much more serious than binge gaming.
Dr. Levounis said he suspects the American Psychiatric Assocation will elevate gaming disorder to full-recognition status in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
A draft of the International Classification of Diseases manual includes a new definition for "gaming disorder" that is now pending approval. The behavior pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.
The move means that people will now be able to receive treatment for their addictions to video games and that the NHS in the United Kingdom will be able to provide treatment to children addicted to games free of charge.
Responding to the decision to including gaming addiction, the Video Games Coalition - an industry lobby group - said their products were "enjoyed safely and sensibly by more than 2 billion people worldwide" across all kinds of genres, devices and platforms.
Others welcomed WHO's new classification, saying it was critical to identify people hooked on video games quickly because they are usually teenagers or young adults who don't seek help themselves.
"Gender incongruence, meanwhile, has also been moved out of mental disorders in the ICD, into sexual health conditions", the report says. "Disorders due to addictive behaviors include gambling disorder and gaming disorder, which may involve both online and offline behaviour".