Siobhan O'Connor column: Playing games on a computer is an addiction - just like drink, drugs and gambling
St John of God's addiction specialist Professor Colin O'Gara said the WHO findings copper-fasten the notion the phenomenon is having a negative effect on our children.
He told the Irish Mirror: "This week was really important because Internet Gaming Disorder, from the European point of view, has been clinically diagnosed as this illness, the same as drugs or alcohol."
Recent studies suggest playing online hijacks the pleasure centres of the brain in a similar action to that of cocaine or alcohol.
Prof O'Gara added: "The reward effects and the pleasure involved is intense.
"The majority of people, they'll be able to walk away from this but again, like with substance addiction and gambling, some people will have difficulties.
"This classification is 10 years of very significant doctors looking in forensic detail should gaming be considered an addiction and just this week the WHO have categorised it as being so.
"There are going to be individuals on the spectrum, from adolescents gaming too much, parental stress over it and conflict between the child and the parent, not getting to bed on time, with concerns over maybe the child should be doing other things like exercise."