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The responses to gaming disorder from China and the World Health Organization
Video gaming is a popular and highly prevalent pastime in the modern society. However, a significant minority of players, especially minors can experience significant harm as a result of excessive gaming. Gaming disorder was introduced in the 11th Revision of International Classification of Diseases endorsed by the 72nd World Health Assembly in 2019.
Several countries including China and South Korea have taken various actions toward online gaming, with the aim to promote public health. Similarly, the World Health Organization (WHO) is also leading international collaborative projects on gaming disorder, which aim to provide guidance on its proper diagnosis and management.
In China, comprehensive efforts from the government have been made to prevent and manage gaming disorder. These include board expert consultation, promotion of industry self-regulation, publicity campaigns, active policy making, and strict regulations toward online games. Many of these actions are targeted towards minors, as they are the most vulnerable group to gaming disorder.
At an international level，the WHO maintains a regular expert consultation mechanism on gaming disorder. They have launched the WHO Collaborative Project on the Development of New International Screening and Diagnostic Instruments for Gaming Disorder, in a response to the urgent needs from member states.