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Online Gaming regulation in my country?

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Drugs, alcohol and gambling. With those already under tight control, the South Korean government wants to add a fourth vice to the list – online gaming.

Earlier this month, South Korean lawmakers proposed a bill that regulates online gaming in a similar fashion to drugs and alcohol. As local news reported, the country's Ministry of Health and Welfare took a step further [ko] towards the restriction last weekend by designating the online game as one of the four major addictive elements [ko] which merit state-level control.

Net users have erupted with jeers and criticism, and the proposed regulation has unsurprisingly drawn severe backlash from members of the gaming industry who are enraged to be considered in the same category as drugs and gambling.

The Korea Internet and Digital Entertainment Association posted an online petition [ko] in their website, arguing that the government's decision will bring death to the Korean gaming industry, which makes up 60 percent of the nation's entire contents market. Only few days have passed, but it has already gathered over 55,000 signatures.

This is a huge issue currently where I live. The government webpage was bombarded with criticism, and people are complaining that this is a useless law that will only bring more harm than good.

Doesn't sound serious? A few years ago, they passed a law named the "Shut-Down Law" that would force underage gamers to leave their games (the game shuts-down automatically). Since it always activated at midnight, it was called the "Cinderella Law" by many.

A friend told me that even the Pokemon Global Link Dream World shutdown exactly at midnight. Yup, even Pokemon got restricted - no exceptions. Thus, if the new law gets accepted, then it's bye-bye online gaming, including the Pokemon Global Link services.

Not only that, but the gaming industry will have to face trouble. Many will have to close down, and people will lose jobs. Several gaming companies are considering moving their HQ overseas.

I get the idea that game addiction is a serious problem and they're trying to find ways to reduce that - but they're doing it wrong. Horribly wrong. The reason for game addiction does not lie in the game itself, but the person themselves and their surrounding environment. Just because a game is fun doesn't mean people will lose self-control and be unable to turn off their games. When someone is unable to turn off their games, there's a bigger problem than the games.

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  1. Lorde's Avatar
    I thought south korea had bigger problems with its neighbouring country rather than worrying about online gaming! I wouldn't worry about it here will be some horrible backlash if they banned online gaming!


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