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Korea's GCF: Scientific Standards For Game Addiction Needed

South Korea's Game Culture Foundation, which opened a local game addiction clinic earlier this month, said there needs to be scientific standards for game addiction.
South Korea's Game Culture Foundation, which opened a local game addiction clinic earlier this month, said there needs to be scientific standards for game addiction. At a recent debate on treating game addiction and improving its facility, the organization's chairman JongMin Kim (pictured) said that scientific standards can put the irrational controversies and exaggerated doubts surrounding the issue to sleep. TaeYoung Choi, a psychiatrist at the DaeGu Catholic University Medical Center, agreed and opined that a diagnostic criteria is required for game addiction or excessive playing. "There is an error that people do not distinguish game addiction and internet addiction due to the absence of criteria," Choi said. According to Choi, using computers excessively is actually an obsession rather than an addiction. Moreover, games that are unable to keep players attention are of less value to their developers. This in mind, he argued that games are made to lure players as much as possible. Choi believes this immersion should not be defined as a disease. He went on to point out a survey showing that 14 percent of students and adults have an internet addiction (which includes online gaming). That percentage is notably much higher than the standard 1 percent used to define a disease.  “It is hard to tell if the over-immersion of games is just a social phenomenon or a disease since the number on the survey is too high," says Choi. "And still many people are considering game addiction as internet addiction." "We are in a hurry to make up a criteria to define its identity between over-immersion and addiction instead of arguing if it is a disease or not. I think we should approach game over-immersion with management instead of treatment." "I mean, they are not patients. And even more we do not have a single guideline for treatments to follow. We have to focus on who should be treated or managed with scientific measures." [This story was written with the permission of, and using material from ThisIsGame Global, the leading English-language site about the South Korean game industry.]

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