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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Bannex

Perhaps they should do actual science and tackle the individual aspects of gaming that result in destructive addictive behaviour rather than falling back on the old blanket classification?

Furthermore, addiction is an illness of the individual not a population. Saying xyz is addictive especially in reference to non chemical based vexes is highly subjective.

WHO like everything else in the social media is jumping on the guilty until proven innocent way of approaching things.

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Bruno Brito

We agree on something.

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Bullwraith

I’ve little doubt that there are some law firms salivating over the juicy class action lawsuits that they are devising thanks to this.

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Dankey Kang

Well, looks like that’s the end for black desert.

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Greaterdivinity

I mean, even from my basic psychology coursework years ago this doesn’t stand up. It’s largely just textbook “behavioral addiction”, which is itself a deeper rooted psychological issue and not something tied to specific behaviors. It’s not the behaviors that drive the addiction, as the WHO functionally seems to assert, but the addictive personalities/behavioral patterns that manifest in any number of ways.

If those countries want to handle excessive gaming within their boundaries, they can regulate and legislate to that effect. China has been slowly cracking down on it for example, even if their method in doing so may be controversial/questionable. But without a sound medical basis to support this, including addition to the DSM-5, this is total garbage.

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Fervor Bliss

Like those that self-harm with box cutters do not have a box-cutter disorder. There are underlying reasons they are using usually safe things in unhealthy ways as a coping mechanism. Get them the help they need.

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PanagiotisLial1

They could be renamed to the Ferengi Alliance and it would really fit their ideals well

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Greaterdivinity

We’d just need some latinum for that. Preferably of the gold-pressed variety.

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McGuffn

You mean the WHO? Wait until they hear about the Wearing Clothes and Earning Profit addictions among fe-males!

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PanagiotisLial1

WHO simply follows the profit, like Ferengis, and that is pretty much the pressure they mention