South Korea Considers Law to Peg Online Gaming as "Anti-Social Addiction"

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South Korea Considers Law to Peg Online Gaming as "Anti-Social Addiction"

South Korea legislators are considering a law that would label online gaming as an "anti-social addiction."

South Korea's parliament is currently considering a proposal that will align online gaming with other activities such as gambling, drugs and alcohol as a potential "anti-social" addiction. To date, the legislation is backed by 14 of the ruling law makers and comes after a ruling was passed in 2011 wherein South Korean residents under the age of 16 were banned from playing online games between midnight and dawn.

If this decision passes, it will include building a fund to beat online gaming addiction by taking one percent of South Korea's gaming industry revenue, and will also limit game advertisements in the country.

South Korea is, of course, no stranger to online gaming, with many top Starcraft players in the world hailing from the country. Aside from pro gamers, South Korea is also known as a significant exporter of videogames and has a sizable amount of revenue coming from the gaming industry. Just last year, free-to-play title MapleStory - along with other online games - earned more money from overseas for the country than Psy's YouTube-hit "Gangnam Style," Korean-Pop (K-Pop), movies and other cultural exports combined according to The Independent

In the meantime, gaming companies in the country are arguing that passing such a bill would mean a death sentence for the South Korean gaming industry, with the Korea Internet and Digital Entertainment Association stating, ""The 100,000 people employed in the game industry are not drugmakers."

Should online gaming be painted with the same brush as alcohol, gambling or even drugs? For South Korean gamers' sake, let's hope it isn't.

Source: The Independent

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I don't have a face palm hard enough to make sense of this one. On the one hand, I can see that online gaming in Korea(Based wholly on what the news stories have painted) has lead to death if not worse in some cases. But, this? Seriously? Anti-social behavior? On the basis of what, an antequated notion that social interaction can only exist in a person to person way for it to have any sort of meaningful depth?(It's not like people lie to each others faces all the time presenting a mask or more agreeable persona or anything.)

Should online gaming be painted with the same brush as alcohol, gambling or even drugs?

Can video gaming become as addictive as alcohol, gambling, or drugs?

Studies say yes. Both psychologically and biologically.

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/video-game-addiction-no-fun

By classifying excessive online gaming as an addiction, this will open up channels for people who may want help.

Korea has always put a lot of play restrictions on online games(vindictus' old token system for one) but that bill is going pretty far. I agree with the statement it would kill Korean game companies.

So how long will it be before South Korea has mandatory socialising to curb 'anti-social' behaviour? Anyone who doesn't invite all of their neighbours around for afternoon tea gets a week in jail. Thinking about curling up in bed and watching a DVD on your own? CRIMINAL!

I know that people could get an actual addiction to gaming, but do they really have to label an entire past-time as anti-social addiction rather than offering help to the small number of people who are actually addicted? If anything online games can have a good social side since you can interact with thousands of people from all over the world, all of whom are 19 year old virgin cheerleaders who want someone to to help them explore their supple bodies...

If anything they should be cracking down on single player games!

I guess they wouldn't do themselves a favor with that. The title of "country with the most antisocial population" isn't exactly flattering...

Ladies, gentlemen, and otherwise:

The term in question is "anti-social addiction".

Not "anti-social behavior".

Thank you. :)

I think people are jumping the gun a little bit on this. What South Korea is proposing is not really all that bad, and it doesn't hurt the hobby overall. Are we really so oversensitive that our reaction to them classifying this as a possible source of addiction is dog-whistle outrage?

Considering they're calling it a 'potentially anti-social addiction,' I don't see the problem with it. They're not calling the past-time inherently anti-social or harmful, just that it can become as harmful as other addictions such as gambling. Gaming addiction is a problem, particularly with students but then you open a whole new can of worms of issues like stress and over-studying. If it means people can get help, I'm all for it. One thing that does bothers me is the suggestion to restrict advertising and taking one percent of the industry's revenue.

A 1% tax to set up an addiction help fund is hardly a "death sentence" of an industry.
Seems like a good idea to me.

MinionJoe:
Ladies, gentlemen, and otherwise:

The term in question is "anti-social addiction".

Not "anti-social behavior".

Thank you. :)

Mind to explain the difference?

Having an anti-social addiction means compulsively doing something that is considered anti-social. In other words, compulsive anti-social behavior.

The problem comes not when you regulate something as potentially harmful, but when you act out of proportion to potential harm. For other examples, see the US DEA's insane obsession with marijuana over the past 30 years.

Well screw you South Korea and here I was totally having your back for when the North invades.

Now I am hoping the North not only invades you but also beats you in starcraft in a grand winner takes all (the countries) final.

All that being said I do think Online gaming (and only online gaming) can lead to problems. I know cause I know what I was liking growing up in highschool during the start of WOW days. Things like "residents under the age of 16 were banned from playing online games between midnight and dawn" are what I see as good well justified laws because lets face it nothing good happens at 3 in the morning.

I still don't like how they view the gaming as a anti social addiction because if the person is anti social from the beginning then mmo would do more harm than good in all fairness. But yeah its just when you go over the edge in reasoning that ones entire reason falls flat.

GG WP North Korea Terrain forces win by nuclear victory.

Chaosritter:

Mind to explain the difference?

Not at all! Glad to help!

The term anti-social used as "not wanting the company of others" is actually the layman's term. In psychology, people with anti-social disorder are actually quite sociable, but their way of thinking and acting is destructive, manipulative, and/or indifferent with very little concept of "right" and "wrong".

Anti-social behavior is the act of being anti-social, traditionally due to an anti-social personality disorder.

Anti-social addiction is the change of a persons personality due to addiction, in this case, specifically, online video game addiction. Several peer-reviewed research papers I found talked about similarities between game addiction and gambling, including self-destructive behavior and elevated dopamine levels.

The primary difference is that anti-social addiction typically results in self-destructive behavior, while anti-social behavior is primarily the expression of anti-social personality disorder.

Granted, there can be some cross-over: anti-social personality disorder does have environmental factors in addition to genetic factors, and anti-social addiction can result in the manipulation of others and the blurring of "right" and "wrong". But they are considered two distinct terms.

"Should online gaming be painted with the same brush as alcohol, gambling or even drugs?"

Uh, yeah!
I don't see the need for blacklisting and fining the industry, but video-games are a crutch. Millions of young men abandon all hope of learning to adjust their social skills and put their lives indefinitely on hold by indulging nothing but video-game escapism.

I actually like the 1% tax fee for helping gaming addiction, because it is a very real thing. The advertisement cuts can really hurt the companies in long term but I doubt it will make any sort of serious effect. Definitely not the end of gaming in South Korea.

The early days of WoW were amazing but they were also some of my darkest. I had two years of very little social interaction outside of the game and my grades in college at the time definitely took a hit before a friend helped me out.

By this definition then any hobby could be classified as addictive and anti-social. Even the pursuit of wealth or fame could be seen as being an addiction.

Jupiter065:
A 1% tax to set up an addiction help fund is hardly a "death sentence" of an industry.
Seems like a good idea to me.

Yeah, that's like 60 cents per game.

I mean, anything can be an addiction, and any addictive substance should lead to treatment. South Korea clearly has a population of addicted gamers and I don't think some help wouldn't be warranted.

That said, the distinction between hobbyist and addict should be set up.

Captcha: Safety First

Indeed captcha, indeed.

MinionJoe:
snip

Maybe it's a lingual matter.

In German, anti-social means something that is hardly or absolutely not acceptable by the social codex. Sitting shitfaced on a park bench at noon, wearing nothing but a dirty wife beater and tattered jeans while reeking of a week without any hygiene would be a prime example for anti-social behavior. What you described is called sociopathy, which is a disorder of its own.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy#Sociopathy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder

Doubt they're going so far to label the average Starcraft player criminally insane. :D

I guess in South Korea it does have a potential to be addictive and highly anti-social. We've all read the stories.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JK2Hk0QOshg

this is the first thing i thought of when i read this article

For anyone who says 1% taking is good idea, I think you guys are misunderstanding entire premise.

When they say 1%. It's not 1% from gross profit - It's from entire company revenue in industry with low Rate of Return unless game goes successful. Which is rare occasion on market full of other online game. And personally, based on past behavior of organization who proposed this law, I'm pretty sure all those money will just become a pocket money.

As South Korean, it's very interesting that people don't understand what is truly going on with this law.

Following materials are flagged as 'Anti-Social addiction' based on that law.

가. 알코올
나. 「마약류 관리에 관한 법률」에 따른 마약류
다. 「사행산업통합감독위원회법」에 따른 사행산업을 이용하는 행위 또는「사행행위 등 규제 및 처벌 특례법」에 따른 사행행위
라. 인터넷게임 등 미디어 콘텐츠
마. 그 밖에 중독성이 있는 각종 물질과 행위로서 대통령령으로 정하는 것

Let's translate this.

A. Alcohol
/No, Not beverage. Everything under category of Alcohol goes under this.
B. Drugs that is flagged as illegal drug by Korean drug law.
C. Gambling.
/By the way, they passed new law where they encourage creating gambling related business.
D. Media Contents such as Internet Games
/Yes. It's not Media Contents -related- to internet game. It's Media Content 'Such as'.
E. Any contents, action, material that deemed addictive declared by president's order.
/Doesn't this sounds familiar?

And also, Actual law states following.

아. 관계중앙행정기관의 장은 중독폐해의 발생을 예방하기 위하여 중독물질 등의 생산, 유통 및 판매를 적절하게 관리하기 위하여 필요한 시책을 강구하도록 함(안 제13조).

H. To prevent addiction from happening, related department should plan for way to control addictive material's production, distribution, and Sales.

Only thing they have persuaded me for is the solid fact that whoever put this law out is idiot or genius who wants to see end of South Korean Democracy.

And yes, 1% is likely done for pocket money, for example, that same government branch who want this law pass 'requested' Riot Games Korea to make a donation (to them) and said game company should donate more for a 'good cause'

But in fact, they have already donated huge sum of money for protection of Korea's historical artifacts.

Also, they denied any argument against this particular law from any other government branch, or even from public figures. In fact, they even pulled 'You're communist' card at people who are arguing against it. (Although these days, they pull Joseph Mccarthy on too many people that I've lost count.)

Hell, Even person originally agreed and supported 'Shutdown Law' widely on public is against this law.

This post have terrible English writing, and sorry about that. But point is still valid - This law is insane.

Something to consider is that gaming addiction is relatively common in South Korea, which is why it's received attention from the government there.

This is a knee-jerk political decision, that has no ties to reality. Everything about it screams that this was not thought through and is actually some extremely scary stuff. This is thought police, not harmful substance control.

Going forwards with this proposition without serious research an years, if not decades of study is almost unthinkable and criminally stupid.

..This is about South Korea we're talking about and not North, right?

There have been some extremely stupid decisions lately in politics, globally. My own country is currently governed by a very left wing party and they're cutting welfare and widening the gap between rich and poor people more than it's been for almost half a century.
The US has some serious kindergarten mentality issues and a whole slew of fuck ups in their congress.
EU is basically shitting itself, while frantically throwing random candy bans around while shrugging off the economical crisis.

Then there's this thing, which is just jaw droppingly stupid, because it affects a major industry of theirs..!
Holy shit.

It's a shame sensible people must always suffer for what mistakes silly people make. "This is why we can't have nice things!"

I'd say they should work with individuals, but I've heard of people dying from too much gaming over there. Srs. You can't help a dead guy much. But then again, they're bound to incorporate some preventative measures.

Like 3DS games! Random NPC: "Take a break, dude!" That'll work for sure!

I think the thing most people are missing is the perspective here.

Hardcore gaming, and to extent obsessive gaming is A LOT more common over there than it is here.
If I'm not mistaken it's something that many kids around our age can get hopelessly addicted to to a unhealthy degree.

When it starts to become semi common news that some kid croaked because he/she played Starcraft for 59 hours straight than you can kind of see where South Korea is coming from with these labels.

Obviously calling competitive gaming over here "Anti-social" behavior is ludicrous, because for the most part over hear gaming is far from being taken seriously at that level. And the few people who do take it to that level are so rare that it's hardly worth putting the energy into preventing it.

I don't know. Perhaps that view will change here in the future. Now that E-sports is recognized as an actual sport in the United States, maybe we too will see the rise of compulsive, obsessive, and destructive, addiction to e-sports heavy games.

What a shitty country, you're not even allowed to visit porn sites from a South Korean ISP. I'd be addicted to Starcraft too if I wasn't allowed to fap and my only option for sexual release was to get plastic surgery to be considered remotely attractive enough to get laid.

Ninmecu:
Anti-social behavior? On the basis of what, an antequated notion that social interaction can only exist in a person to person way for it to have any sort of meaningful depth?(It's not like people lie to each others faces all the time presenting a mask or more agreeable persona or anything.)

Usually the kind of bullshit I get when people find out my significant other lives across the atlantic ocean from me.

Alex Co:
Should online gaming be painted with the same brush as alcohol, gambling or even drugs? For South Korean gamers' sake, let's hope it isn't.

Look.

The online gaming scene is WAY different in Korea compared to... basically anywhere else.

Koreans have died at the keyboard on a number of occasions. It's like, an actual issue over there. I have no idea what it is about Korea that's making people do this, but they do and it definitely can be dangerous.

Also note that it says the proposal calls to make it a potential addiction. Not everyone becomes an alcoholic, but some do. In the same way, some Koreans sit at their computer playing Starcraft for days, and others maybe a couple hours. If the Korean government sees fit to define obsessive gaming as an addiction, I can certainly see why.

Chaosritter:

MinionJoe:
snip

Maybe it's a lingual matter.

In German, anti-social means something that is hardly or absolutely not acceptable by the social codex. Sitting shitfaced on a park bench at noon, wearing nothing but a dirty wife beater and tattered jeans while reeking of a week without any hygiene would be a prime example for anti-social behavior. What you described is called sociopathy, which is a disorder of its own.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy#Sociopathy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder

Doubt they're going so far to label the average Starcraft player criminally insane. :D

That's "asozial", not "antisozial". Despite what many Germans think, they do not mean the same thing. "Asozial" is the described behaving in a hardly acceptable manner, while "antisozial" is actively working against the society (as part of a terrorist group for example).

Anyway, I like the idea.
There's a huge difference between gaming as a hobby and gaming as an addiction.

Guess the loners have to start reading books and watch series instead.

I don't believe the compulsion to play games excessively is caused by some initial online play. I believe there are factors, inherent in that society, that pushes people toward that escapism. To focus on treating the result of playing too much seems a lost cause, the focus should be on what is pushing such a large quantity of people toward that behaviour.

That being said, with what I'm hearing from people here about how things are run there, this doesn't look like that will be a road taken.

I'm usually against restrictions, and always for education and information, but I can see their reasons for doing this, even if I disagree it's not that preposterous.

Xiado:
What a shitty country, you're not even allowed to visit porn sites from a South Korean ISP. I'd be addicted to Starcraft too if I wasn't allowed to fap and my only option for sexual release was to get plastic surgery to be considered remotely attractive enough to get laid.

Calling a country shitty when you live in the US... That's kinda hilarious!

I am Korean and I sometimes call my country shitty. Especially when I am looking at the current political state it's in.

MinionJoe:

Should online gaming be painted with the same brush as alcohol, gambling or even drugs?

Can video gaming become as addictive as alcohol, gambling, or drugs?

Studies say yes. Both psychologically and biologically.

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/video-game-addiction-no-fun

By classifying excessive online gaming as an addiction, this will open up channels for people who may want help.

thats only half of the statement though. Does videogames make people anti-social? Studies say no. Videogames CAN be addictive. so can, say, sugar, coffe and plenty of other legal things. And im fine with admitting it can. Heck, i went through a videogame addiction myself (now i can control my gaming according to my needs). It did not make me anti-social though.

MinionJoe:
Ladies, gentlemen, and otherwise:

The term in question is "anti-social addiction".

Not "anti-social behavior".

Thank you. :)

Would you care on giving a definition for "anti-social addiction"?
You did, but you didnt explain how is this related to videogame addiction. I did not became antisocial when i was addicted to videogames. It was because of other peoples antisocial behaviuor that i became addicted as a way to escape it.

Zachary Amaranth:
I think people are jumping the gun a little bit on this. What South Korea is proposing is not really all that bad, and it doesn't hurt the hobby overall. Are we really so oversensitive that our reaction to them classifying this as a possible source of addiction is dog-whistle outrage?

No, classifying them as antisocial is.

Headsprouter:
Like 3DS games! Random NPC: "Take a break, dude!" That'll work for sure!

Ah, i still remmeber narators and overlay sounds would go "you have been playing this game for 4 hours you should take a break" in most games 10 years ago. those always made me chuckle. Yes the game was on for 4 hours, what it does not know is that it was on pause for an hour while i was eating lunch!

Dragonbums:

When it starts to become semi common news that some kid croaked because he/she played Starcraft for 59 hours straight than you can kind of see where South Korea is coming from with these labels.

But we also had that in US, in Brazil, in SPain, in Germany, in Russia and probably a lot more i havent heard about. Problem is that people take 1 (out of how many million copies sold?) idiot of games and apply it to me. I have a full time job, study and hardly have time for games and people still tell me i should stop being addicted to gaming[1].

capcha: had me at hello
seriuosly?

[1] though that may be more to the mentality we have in this country where most people still think videogames are for children only

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