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.
"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.
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