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Ministry Strongly Objects WHO's 'Gaming Disorder' Classification

Write: 2019-05-27 15:44:33Update: 2019-05-27 16:02:28

Ministry Strongly Objects WHO's 'Gaming Disorder' Classification

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: Just a day after the Ministry of Health and Welfare announced plans to adopt the World Health Organization's(WHO) classification of gaming addiction as a disease, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism rejected the move, saying that scientific evidence does not support the WHO's decision.
Choi You Sun reports.

Report: An official from South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said on Monday that his ministry plans to oppose the World Health Organization's(WHO) recent decision to include gaming addiction in its newly revised International Classification of Diseases(ICD).

The official also expressed the ministry's objection to Korea’s adoption of the ICD, which he said lacked scientific evidence. He added that social consensus is needed before such guidelines can be adopted.

The culture ministry, which works to promote the domestic game industry among other responsibilities, voiced similar opposition to the ICD classification last month.

The WHO's ICD is an international codification and diagnostic tool used to catalog and classify diseases and health conditions. The current tenth iteration was first introduced in May 1990.

The eleventh version introduced earlier this month describes gaming addiction as a pattern of gaming behavior with "impaired control" to the extent that it "takes precedence over other life interests."

The UN body set a January first, 2022 deadline for member states to adopt the updated ICD.

Opposition from the culture ministry runs counter to a statement made by the Ministry of Health and Welfare earlier where it said it will set up a consultative body of stakeholders to reach consensus on the adoption of the new classification. 

The culture ministry says it will not participate in the consultations, but is open to taking part in objective discussions to seek a healthier gaming environment.

Meanwhile, the local gaming industry strongly opposes the WHO’s classification of game addiction as a disease. Industry projections suggest the local gaming sector could suffer sales losses of three-point-14 trillion won domestically and one-point-nine trillion won overseas by 2025.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.

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