This week, the World Health Organization proclaimed “gaming disorder” as a behavioral addiction, Google retired its YouTube Gaming app, and Microsoft unveiled plans to bring Xbox Game Pass to PC.
The World Health Organization declares “gaming disorder” a behavioral addiction; games industry fights to overturn the decision
The World Health Organization (WHO) added “gaming disorder” to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems this week. According to WHO, gaming disorder, or video game addiction, is the inability to prioritize daily life over video games. Outlets such as USA Today, NPR, and CBS News weighed in on the news, with The New York Post going as far as saying, “It’s what parents of ‘Fortnite’ fanatics have been saying all along.” WHO faced backlash from the video game industry after the announcement. Variety, Comicbook.com, Game Rant, and more reported that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association, the Interactive Software Federation of Europe, and the Korea Association of Game Industry (K-GAMES) are calling for WHO to reverse their decision due to insufficient evidence.
Google announces the elimination of YouTube Gaming app
By the end of this month, the YouTube Gaming app will no longer exist. Google made the decision to retire the app in order to better streamline its plethora of gaming videos. The purpose of the app was to highlight new video game content creators without the intrusion of other unrelated YouTube content. Users were reportedly confused about the purpose of the app, however, since viewers could regularly find and view live streamers and their content on YouTube without the need for a separate app. GameSpot speculated that the decision to house all video game content on YouTube will benefit Stadia, which promises viewers the ability to jump directly into a streamed game. CNET, The Verge, Polygon, and more reported on the news.
Microsoft bringing Xbox Game Pass to PC
Microsoft announced that its gaming subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, will soon be available for PC. Similar to the console version, PC gamers who subscribe to Xbox Game Pass will have access to Microsoft exclusive titles, access to over 100 PC games from developers such as Sega, Deep Silver, Bethesda, Paradox Interactive, and Devolver Digital, and a 20 percent discount on games that players wish to purchase. In an official statement, Microsoft stated that the goal of expanding the service for Windows is to bring new and additive gaming opportunities to the PC gaming ecosystem. More information about the service will be provided during Microsoft’s conference at E3. The news was also reported by CNET, The Verge, IGN, and more.