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South Korean government is split over the WHO’s decision to classify Gaming Disorder

The Ministry of Welfare and Ministry of Culture bash heads over the WHO decision

South Korean government is split over the WHO’s decision to classify Gaming Disorder

Two South Korean government ministries are split on the WHO’s decision to add gaming addiction to its International Classification of Diseases.

The Ministry of Welfare has sided with parents groups in supporting the classification. However, the Korean Herald reports that the Ministry of Culture has launched an emergency panel in opposition to this support.

Critics in the Ministry of Culture argue that there is no scientific basis for the ruling and that the move violates an individual’s rights to cultural freedom.

Versus mode

"We regret that our Ministry of Welfare joined the WHO meeting as our country representative and agreed with making gaming addiction a disease," said Korea Creative Content Agency's Game Division general director Kang Kyong-seog.

Additionally, Cultural ministers raised concerns shared by analysts who believe classifying gaming disorder could cost the Korean economy billions of dollars in lost revenue due to stigmatising the medium.

The Office for Government Policy Coordination has responded with plans to form a consultation group. It aims to bridge the gap by exploring how to address industry concerns while encouraging a healthy culture around gaming.

Pocket Gamer Connects is heading Hong Kong on July 17th and 18th, where hot topics of debate and key industry trends will be debated by a roster of expert speakers. Head to the website for more details.


Staff Writer

Natalie Clayton is an Edinburgh-based freelance writer and game developer. Besides PCGamesInsider and Pocketgamer.biz, she's written across the games media landscape and was named in the 2018 GamesIndustry.biz 100 Rising Star list.

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