As the World Health Organization recently decided to classify gaming disorder as a mental disease, Korea is likely to categorize it as part of addition in a revised disease classification in 2026.
The government said it planned to establish a consultative body of private and public healthcare experts, discuss gaming disorder issues, and prepare follow-up measures.
On Tuesday, the government held a vice-ministerial meeting, led by Minister of the Office for Government Policy Coordination, to discuss categorizing gaming disorder in disease classification.
Culture, sports and tourism vice minister and health and welfare vice minister attended the meeting, agreeing that the government had enough time to introduce a disease code for gaming disorder in Korea. The officials decided to reflect opinions from various industries and expert groups when and how to do it.
“Through the private and public consultative body, we will minimize the concerns of the gaming industry over the introduction of a disease code on gaming disorder, as well as establish a wholesome culture for gaming,” the government said in a press release. “We will also search for support plans for the advancement of the gaming industry, which is the key area for the contents industry.”
Since 2014, the WHO has discussed the gaming disorder in earnest after mental health-related professional groups expressed concern that excessive use of digital media, including games, could be a public health problem and requires a response.
Through a second task force meeting in 2015, the WHO named “gaming disorder” and decided to include it in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) through consensus among experts. In 2016, the WHO began collecting opinions from healthcare professionals for criteria for diagnosing gaming disorder on the ICD-11 revision site.
The U.N. agency published a draft of the ICD-11 on its homepage in December 2017, which included a new section for addiction-related disorders, along with gambling disorder. After the WHO disclosed the final version of the ICD-11 in June 2018, its member states adopted it at World Health Assembly in May.
<© Korea Biomedical Review, All rights reserved.>