World Health Organization’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned the game while he was saying ‘social distancing’. I'm not sure how to take this. Because it is the opposite of passing the amendment to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which classifies ‘game use disorder’ as a disease in 2019.
Of course, what he meant is to do activities (reading books, listening to music, playing games) that you can do at home. But he put the game on the same league with general hobbies. Games that cause diseases that change the structure of the brain.
What he said can be taken as a recommendation to refrain from going outside. "Play music, read a book, and play a game” is no problem in general conversation. However, he is the head of the group that classified the game as a disease. It is different.
The World Health Organization judged that ‘gaming disorder’ is a disease that can also change the structure of the brain and needs treatment. The opposition from game community and medical experts from each country was not reflected. Despite there are researches that show that the game has a positive effect on brain.
WHO Classifying Gaming disorder as a disease, and what director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus saying are so different. If the World Health Organization judged it on a scientific basis, they should not have said anything that encourages disease-causing behavior. On the same day, he asked not to drink alcohol and not to smoke. While encouraging people to refrain from using addictive substances such as alcohol and tobacco, I wonder why the game was encouraged.
This move is similar to what some South Korean congressmen do. It is an act that saying “I would help the game industry”, and make various regulations including the 'shutdown system'. It may even seem irresponsible for the head of the group saying “let's play the game” after he pointed out that the game was bad. If he thought the game was really a serious thing to brain structure, could he say that?
It is very difficult to take what he said as it is. Because the game industry has suffered from various regulations and stigmas.
김창훈 기자 firstname.lastname@example.org
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