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South Korea Considers Labeling Online Gaming as Addictive Substance

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By anselyouDate: May 21 2013 Views:

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A South Korean bill is looking to label online gaming as an addictive substance.

South Korean politician Shin Eui-jin recentely announced a bill that would place strict regulations to curb the use of addictive substances like drugs, alcohol and online gaming, according to a report by Inews24.

Fourteen other political representatives have backed Shin Eui-jin’s plan that would allow the government to place restrictions on online gaming due to its apparent addictive nature.

“It is regretful that the government views games in the same category as drugs and gambling,” a Korean game developer told Inews24. “The previous administration viewed games negatively, and it’s the same with the current administration. They are talking about a creative economy and yet are constantly trying to regulate one of leading industry for content business.”

According to Inews24, the Korean games industry sees this as a continuing trend from the government to hinder one of the country’s leading areas of economic growth and development.

The bill’s regulations could even disrupt advertising, release, promotion, and development of games, according to Korean video game site Gamemeca. The site cites this section of the bill as having language that could open the regulations to all kinds of control:

“The governing body shall have the right to regulate manufacturing, distribution and sale of addictive substances and can also limit promotion of them as well.”

This isn’t the first time Korean politicians have tried to curb gaming addiction by using regulatory measures. According to a report in Time, in 2010 Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism directed three of the country’s most popular game developers to block players from using their games between midnight and 8 a.m.

Another rule introduced in that bill would have greatly reduced the Internet connection speed of any video gamer who was playing games beyond the confines of the curfew.

These might seems like extreme lengths, but the Korean government has imposed bills like these in response to stories like that of a 3-month-old baby that starved to death while her parents took care of a virtual baby at an Internet cafe.

The bill has yet to pass into legislation.

 

Source: Financial Post

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