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South Korea's Love Of Gaming Creates New Laws
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South Korea\'s Love Of Gaming Creates New Laws

It is estimated that South Korea has roughly 17 million people, out of their population of 48 million, regularly playing online games. Their consumerism culture rivals that of Japan and the United States as they consider new technology important for social status.

Taking a bailout during the Asian financial crisis, the South Korean government used a large portion of the money to build their national broadband network. With their “super highway” of Internet wiring, South Korea can transfer up to 50 megabits of speed per second with download speeds up to 6.0 Mbps.

Currently, almost 70 percent of South Korean households are connected to broadband. With their “techno” culture, South Koreans consider the Internet and a PC for online gaming, necessities for moving up in their society.

With the technology boom, approximately 28,000 Internet cafes or PC bangs, provide online gaming access. People of all ages come to these hotspots to hang out, making group interaction a preferred method of gaming.

However, South Korea’s technology marvel has a dark side with many South Korean gamers suffering from gaming addiction. This serious and sometimes fatal condition, causes the neglect of normal, everyday activities like bathing, eating, missing school and even some, quitting their jobs. Several deaths were reported after too long at a game playing stretch.

In November, 2011, the South Korean government enacted a “Shutdown Law” because of the overwhelming numbers of game addiction in the country. The law prevents children, 16 and under, from participating in online gaming between midnight and 6:00 am.

However, the government, not satisfied by the results, is now considering a law, further curbing the continuous game playing addictions among the population.

A bill proposing the system known as “Cooling Off” is designed to regulate the amount of time, in a 24-hour period, a minor gets to play video games. The primary goal of Cooling Off, is to prevent bullying and suicide, attributed to Internet addiction.

This systems causes a game to automatically shut down after two hours of play. Gamers can log in again, after 10 “rest” minutes but only once in a 24-hour period. They are only allowed four hours of playing time during a day.

The Korean President, supporting the regulations, believes the gaming industry needs more games featuring stories that are beautiful for the purpose of purifying gamers for social contribution.

The United States attempted to pass similar laws, which are not as restrictive, but have never been successful. Lawmakers are unable to provide scientific proof linking gaming to any ill effects. There is no evidence game violence promotes violence outside the game.


Street Talk

I agree. I also think that violence of the games contribute to desynthesizing players to the blood and gore. In some ways, I agree with what Korea is doing yet I shy away from the control the government is taking. To me, the game makers need to step forward, like you said, curbing the addictive features.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
Nick M  

Very interesting read. I personally believe that gaming companies in of themselves should take a form of responsibility and make games that have less addictive features, or at the very least limit players.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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