Academics argue WHO’s ‘gaming disorder’ classification could cost South Korea billions

    
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Over the last couple of years, we’ve been covering the science behind gaming addiction and more specifically the World Health Organization’s attempt to insert the “gaming disorder” classification in spite of the considerable pushback from genuine academics studying the field of gaming psychology – but also from admittedly self-interested gaming lobbies like the ESA.

In some cases, it’s been a bit of both. As GamesIndustry.biz reports, a recent paper released in South Korea has determined that the cost to the South Korean economy could be as high as $9.45 billion over the next three years. The Seoul National University professor behind the research, industrial engineer Lee Deok-joo, says that his survey shows the WHO’s classification would be expensive indeed for the country’s games economy, which is expected to pass $11 billion in value in 2019.

It’s particularly interesting given that last year The Guardian exposed the WHO’s bias in putting politics before health and science; the organization admitted it had “been under enormous pressure, especially from Asian countries, to include” the classification. You can decide for yourself who should win in the “junk science” vs. “exploitative greed” game; it seems unlikely that gamers or those suffering from actual addiction are being prioritized here.

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