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South Korean MP calls for similar regulation of games, drugs and more

Thursday, 2nd May 2013 06:31 GMT By Brenna Hillier

South Korean politician Shin Eui-jin has revealed a bill proposing that games, along with alcohol, gambling and drugs, be strictly regulated.

According to reports translated by Kotaku, the conservative MP argued that all four are a capable of bringing about addiction.

The former medical professor has 14 other representatives onside already, although it has not been presented to the National Assembly yet.

The local games industry has argued that regulation will hinder growth. It may have a point, as the bill is said to contain language suggesting the government could interfere with aspects of development and marketing.

South Korea produces some of the most talented gamers in the world and has a very healthy eSports scene. It also regularly assesses concerns that its citizens are playing too many games, as when considering bills to introduce a curfew on gaming for minors, or stop people playing for lengthy periods over successive days.

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5 Comments

  1. The_Red

    First reaction: WOW. Seriously? Fun and entertainment being regulated alongside drugs?
    Second reaction: To be fair though, some of the gaming habits in SK are kinda dangerous (The deaths from constant online play in net cafes and stuff like that).
    Third reaction: Still, “curfew on gaming for minors” is NOT the answer. You know, maybe when there is a customer in one cafe playing for 24 straight hours, someone should stop him out of simple human courtesy or rationality.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. salarta

    The only games I think might need to be regulated over there in Korea are MMOs and possibly highly competitive online games like Starcraft. The article points out the reason why, they have a problem with addiction over there. The politician most likely wants to introduce legislation that’s way too draconian in the matter, like only a few hours per day, but the basic idea of limiting how long per day they can do it is a good idea. I could see only allowing 16 hours per day give or take a few, which would hopefully get at least some people (the ones that wouldn’t hop over to a different game/account) to get much-needed sleep, but I can’t see “you can only play 3-5 hours a day” or “you can only play until 9 PM” being appropriate anywhere.

    I leave out single player games because I think at that point, you’re not dealing with the competitive nature of games. Problems that can happen with single player games are ones that can happen with any other medium, like books or films.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Old MacDonald

    If it’s restricted to microtransaction-based games, I can totally understand why they might want to regulate them in a similar way to how they regulate gambling, because there are big similarities there.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Digital Bamboo

    Uh, gambling and drugs are already strictly regulated in South Korea. Native Koreans aren’t even allowed in some casinos, and drugs are virtually non-existant.

    As for strictly regulating gaming and alcohol in South Korea. LOL. Good luck with that. I think you’d have a better chance banning soccer and pubs in England.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Digital Bamboo

    Funny that he’d single out games before cigarettes, considering their infinitely greater potential for harm. Probably a smoker himself.

    #5 1 year ago

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