Gaming Regulation to battle Addiction in South Korea – Justified or Overreaching?
10월 16, 2012

From 5th to 7th October 2012 there was an event to make games held by Turtle Cream, a South Korean game developing company. Attendees organized teams and developed a game with a given subject. This event was held as a protest against a move to regulate online gaming with aregulation guidance that can be arbitrarily interpreted by the Ministry of equal opportunity and Family of the South Korean government

There is an existing law put into practice from 2011 that blocks those under the age of 16 from accessing games after midnight to 6 am. This rule will apply to mobile games from May 2013. South Korea’s smartphone users have reached 30 million in August 2012 and there is a noticeably quick shift from web-based to mobile-based games in the gaming industry.. Recently, the Ministry of Equal Opportunity and Family offered a very vague regulation guidance for a ‘shutdown’ law and has faced criticism due to its ambiguity.

David Drummond, a Google senior executive, who attended the Big Tent Conference held by Google in South Korea on 9th October 2012, expressed concerns about Korea’s Internet regulation policy by saying, “Our view is that you should be careful and move slowly when you think about breaking the openness about the Internet.” “The more open the Internet is, the better” he added as reported by Korea herald

Meanwhile many people are worried about the addiction to internet, mobile and games. South Korea’s government has tried to battle gaming addiction after a series of cardiopulmonary-related deaths and a game-related murders. But many people criticize the measure and question in which the policy prevents young gamers from addiction. On the other hand, some people welcoming this move feel that excessive gaming has caused negative influences and there is a need to protect children with a more sound game culture.

The regulation guidance surely has problems because of its ambiguity; however we should not neglect the effect of excessive gaming. As internet and internet based game penetration is growing, American Psychiatric Association held discussions recently regarding whether they should put gaming addiction into a mental disorder, which shows that illnesses caused by gaming addiction is a global concern.

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