The Korea Herald


Government-private committee launched to respond to WHO gaming disorder classification

By Kim Arin

Published : July 24, 2019 - 14:12

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The government on Tuesday launched a committee to address the adoption of the World Health Organization-classified gaming disorder into Korea’s own disease code. 

The joint government-private sector committee is convened by the Prime Minister’s Office for Government Policy Coordination following a failed consensus between health and gaming circles, and its formation comes after nearly two-month-long consultations among relevant ministries and fields.

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

The Culture Ministry fears the WHO’s new diagnosis would place a damper on the burgeoning gaming industry, which was the country’s largest cultural exporter in 2017, and has informed the agency of its objection. The Health Ministry, on the other hand, abides by the agency’s guidelines.

The newly established committee will work on reaching a solution which “promotes healthy gaming culture, while minimizing concerns of the gaming industry,” the Prime Minister’s office said.

The 22-member committee comprises eight government officials from health, culture, education, science and ICT ministries and the Prime Minister’s Office; and 14 experts from the private sector, including medicine, gaming, education and law.

The World Health Assembly, the WHO’s decision-making body, unanimously voted in May to include gaming disorder in its 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases. The updated international standard for diagnostic manual, which will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2022, identifies impaired control over gaming as an addiction disorder.

As a WHO member state, South Korea is advised to reflect the change in its own code -- the Korean Standard Classification of Diseases -- that is set be revised in 2025.

By Kim Arin (