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Last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) listed video game addiction as an official disease. The current statement on Corona recommends playing. A major change of course?

The WHO published a briefing on the current situation in the Corona crisis on 20 March. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the organisation, explains rules of conduct and tips for surviving the crisis unscathed.

One sentence that falls in this context makes the gaming world sit up and take notice: “Listen to music, read a book or play video games.” These measures are intended to prevent depression and the feeling of isolation.

Important measure instead of illness?
Since the declaration of video game addiction as a disease, some people assume that the WHO has a very conservative position on video games. But as much as the media say, the organisation has not changed its position. The definition of “gaming disorder” states that the disease is present in people who neglect other areas of their lives for gaming.

This means that the playing time or even emotionality when playing has nothing to do with addiction. However, the exact definition can be used for virtually any activity, which is why the video has received much criticism as a demonisation of video games.

Even today, compensation is important
Similar to the video, the WHO actually takes a very moderate approach with the current statement. Gambling, along with other activities such as regular exercise, is only seen as one way to stay calm.

Nevertheless, it is a good sign that games are now also equated by the WHO with reading books and listening to music.

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