South Korea to classify online gaming as addiction

According to a recent report (posted on Guardian) South Korea is taking steps to classify as “anti-social addiction” alongside three other notorious addictions namely gambling, drugs and alcohol.  “We need to create a clean Korea free from the four addictions” Hwang Woo-yea, an MP in the ruling party, said in a recent speech.

As expected, this bill was supported by parents and religious groups, but opposed heavily by the gaming industry and the gamers. “The 100,000 people employed in the game industry are not drugmakers,” said the Korea Internet and Digital Entertainment Association, which represents game companies.


If this legislation is accepted, then it might adversely affect the gaming industry in Korea (which ironically, is a major part of it’s economy) as it will limit the freedom in which the gaming industry currently operates. Currently, a large influx of cash in Korea’s economy can be directly related to the online gaming and it is not yet known what will be the effect on the country if this bill is passed.

It should be noted that in South Korea, there have been examples of rather extreme cases of gaming addiction, some even resulting in death and in a survey conducted by the government, almost 2% of South Koreans aged 10-19, (around 125,000 people) needed treatment for excessive online gaming or were at risk of addiction.

Ali Moin

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