Evaluating the social cost of conflict between new media and society: The case of gaming disorder in south korea

Changsok Yoo, Yelim Kim, Jee Hoon Sohn

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1 Scopus citations


Historically, the introduction of a new media in mass market caused a strong conflict starting from the nineteenth century popular literature, comics, rock music and film. Interestingly, these conflicts have shown similar and repeated patterns, which is now called media panic and moral regulation, and games are following this pattern. In 2019, Gaming disorder (GD) was decided to be included in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), and similar conflicts on games arenow expected. However, the social cost and damage have not been fully addressed until now. Thus, this study focuses on the estimation of the social cost induced by GD for policy design and decisions in the public healthcare of South Korea. Using the contingent valuation method, a popular valuation method in econometrics for non-market goods, this study has tried to estimate the social cost induced by the introduction of GD into the public healthcare practice. Focusing on a false positive problem in the diagnosis, this study estimates that the willingness to pay for GD diagnosis for children is about KRW 152 K (USD 135). Considering the difference between the prevalence of GD (1.9%) and GD suspicion rate of children in the respondents (12.54%), the excessive medical diagnosis cost due to the false positive problem is estimated to KRW 101 billion (USD 89.6 M), which is about four times more than the annual medical cost for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) treatment in South Korea. Thus, strong scientific proof and a cautious policy approach on GD are needed before the inclusion of GD in the public health practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8106
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2 Jul 2021


  • Contingent valuation method
  • False positive
  • Gaming disorder
  • Media panic
  • Social cost


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