Excessive gaming may be labeled a mental health disorder

The psychological benchmark for diagnosing mental health conditions, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), now lists internet gaming as a condition of further study.

Put the controller down and step away from Candy Crush.

The International Classification of Diseases diagnostic manual was last updated in 1990, however the latest version will be published next year and will include excessive gaming as an official disorder. The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent.

According to a draft release by World Health Organization, the criteria for this addiction includes making gaming a priority "to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests". The WHO says that a diagnosis can be assigned after a period of 12 months, except when "all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe".

A video gaming disorder is going to be named a mental condition for the first time, according to New Scientist.

The upcoming ICD, in its 11th update, will allow doctors and healthcare workers, as well as researchers and policymakers, to classify gaming addiction as a mental health condition. World Health Organization will make the change in 2018, and language has not been finalized.

While the ICD will be the first to official place video game addiction in its manual, it has been observed as a concern for almost five years.

A draft report is proposing "gaming disorder" and "hazardous gaming" labels for people who are consumed by gaming in unhealthy ways. The WHO has not listed other conditions linked to technology, such as so-called smartphone or internet addiction, due to a lack of evidence they are "real disorders". But as with everything, moderation is key.