A Look At Nintendo DS Piracy In Korea

It's no secret that piracy — especially game piracy — is widespread in South Korean. While there is no data, Gamasutra's Nick Rumas points out that it's evident to anyone with "a pair of eyes". Rumas takes a look at how the R4 is used in Korea, writing:

In Korea, piracy of video games isn't limited to the hardcore crowd; it's everywhere, prevalent in every age group and economic class that exists. And beyond being a matter of money - of not wanting to spend money, that is - piracy for Koreans is, perhaps even foremost, a matter of convenience.

Interestingly, Rumas points out that many Korean R4 owners aren't even that tech savvy and simply purchase pre-loaded flash cards! Swing by Gamasutra and check out the article. There's some some good insights there and good questions asked about Nintendo's piracy fight in Korea.

Piracy In Korea [Gamasutra via Phantom Leap]


    This hits close to home. I worked for a short time at a market stall that sold R4's. Naively, I thought at least some people - like my friends - used theirs for legitimate uses - storage, homebrew, music, all that stuff.

    But no. Person after person would come in asking if they were the things that 'let you get DS games off the Internet'. I told them there are some homebrew games around, but it's not really for downloading full games.

    The sad thing is, I think some of the people didn't even know it was illegal. I think they all wondered why *everybody* didn't download games for free. I wondered why they thought people spend time developing games.

    These customers weren't just 18 - 30 year old men or teenage boys either. There were older women, older men, and even girls of about 10 occasionally.

    One time, my boss told me that we sold pre-loaded flash cartridges. There were always excuses:

    'We only do it because we have to compete with the other people that do.' Pathetic.

    'We don't advertise it; we only give them out if people ask.' Meaningless.

    I said no. I told him I wasn't doing it.

    I never heard from them again. I rang to see when they wanted me to work. They ignored me and never called back.

    Technically they fired me, but I would've quit anyway. Bastards.

    I guess the point I'm making is that it might be terrible in Korea, but it's bad here too. This is not some far away problem that only happens in a few countries, it's a problem that's happening right here, right now.

    My solution? No idea really. I think we as gamers, as people, need to stop acting like this is ok and socially acceptable. Stop going along with it, don't encourage it. Don't pirate games for people.

    Now, I sometimes play DS download games with people that are probably pirating it. But I try to avoid that situation, and if there was a black and white way of knowing if it was pirated or not, I'd love that. Hypocritical? Perhaps it is. This is making me think. I don't want to be outcast from my friends, but on the other hand we shouldn't be pirating games. I don't however feel it's my responsibility to check everyone's DS every time they want to play a game with me.

    Anyway, off to play Team Fortress 2 free weekend. That reminds me, why does Kotaku only tell me of these free weekends when they're already alomost up? Ever thought of reporting just before it starts? Cause that would be cool. :)

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