Korean Politicians Want To Regulate Video Games Like Drugs And Alcohol

This week, South Korean politician Shin Eui-jin announced a bill that stipulated alcohol, online games, gambling and drugs need to be strictly regulated. The reasoning? They are a source of addiction, the legislation argues.

MP Shin Eui-jin, a member of the conservative Saenuri Party and former medical professor, is backed by 14 other representatives in her push for this new legislation. It would give central authority to regulate online games as if they were addictive, like drugs or alcohol.

The Korean gaming industry is obviously up in arms over the bills, saying it does not promote the gaming industry. Rather, they say, it will hinder its growth.

One member of the country's gaming industry told South Korea's Inews24 (via tipster Sang), "It is regretful that the government views games in the same category as drugs and gambling. 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 Korean game site Gamemeca, the bill contains questionable language like, "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." The implication is that the government could interfere with game development, releases, and promotion.

At this stage, the bill has not yet been brought up for a vote in the National Assembly.

게임업계 '게임=도박·마약' 법률안 발의에 충격 [Inews24 — Thanks Sang!] 게임 술-마약-도박과 동급취급! 새로운 규제에 업계 충격 [Gamemeca]


    Well, given that gaming seems to actually kill people in Asia due to the addictiveness, I can understand the urge to do something... but, uh. This doesn't sound great.

      I can imagine it now. Internet cafe owner calling a cab after telling a customer ''you've had a little bit too much'', then they have to drag him to the cab cause his legs are clogged up

        "You don't have to die from DVT at home, mate, but you can't do it here."

    What the hell happened to personal responsibility? Regulating alcohol or cigarettes makes a certain amount of sense because of the strain smoking related illness causes on public health care systems, and alcohol is a causative factor in a staggering amount of domestic violence and car accidents. Video games meanwhile... they don't do any of this. All you hurt is yourself.

      That strain on public health systems is more than made up for in the tax on drugs and alcohol...

      Cigarettes were $8.00 in 2008. They're $15.00 now. That's not an increase in production costs I assure you.

        Average cost to treat a lung cancer patient who survives the illness is $107167. There is roughly a 60% tax on cigarettes in Australia. That means to treat 1 lung cancer sufferer, it takes 11907 packs of cigarettes to be sold - in other terms, a pack a day for 32 years. So yeah I don't think I can agree with you that tax covers the health care strain.

        Sources if you want to look at them:

          If everyone who smoked immediately got lung cancer you'd be right.

          How many packets sold vs how many diagnosis of smoking related lung cancer on a per day basis?

          I'd say there are over 12k packs sold per day. That's one treated patient per day. At least.

    The government doesn't have the right or moral authority to decide what people put in or do to their own bodies and that includes smoking, drugs and alcohol.

      Smoking, drugs, and alcohol all have negative consequences for those around who don't use them. Exhibit A: Passive smoking. Exhibit B: Alcohol fuelled violence.

    Well considering how much of a real problem it is, I can't really say I don't agree.

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