Online Control in South Korea – Lab 12

April 25, 2010

In class we watched a video regarding South Korea’s growing video game epidemic.  According to a Yahoo! article, video game addiction has become so bad that several gamers have died after not taking a break for several days or even weeks.  Also, last year a couple’s newborn daughter starved to death when they neglected her and played video games for days at a time.   The urgency of the situation has caused the South Korean government to pass legislation that will set up a gaming curfew for all online games in both public and private places.  To do this the gamers’ bandwidths will slow down significantly for every hour the game is being played after midnight until it is impossible for the game to run.  The government is starting with the 4 largest online RPGs (role playing games) but will eventually add 19 game titles to the “curfew list”.  These games will account for around 80% of the online games played.  The government is taking matters into its own hand.

The government’s push for the legislation is due to the severity of the situation.  The government must step in and act as the parent, as many parent’s are not enforcing less gaming time.  Also, some parents, as in the case mentioned above, are apart of the addiction and therefore have no one to control their addiction.

As for the argument against the legislation, people argue that the government has no right to act as a “parent”, especially not to adults.  If people want to practice unhealthy behavior, then that is their choice.  Also, the involvement of the government in private affairs, such as when you play video games at home, is an invasion of privacy.

As for my argument, I agree that the problem is severe enough to demand attention, but I do not believe that direct government control is the answer, although it may be the easiest (for the government).  To address the problem, video game cafes should monitor and limit the number of hours each patron spends in the business to a reasonable number, say 8 hours.  No direct control should be taken to control private gaming.  The best that could be done is to make adults and parents aware of the situation, to encourage the parents to monitor their child’s gaming time, and to give them tips of how to curve their child’s addiction.  It’s really sad that the government is taking a parental role but it feels like it must since the child’s parents are not, whether intentionally or not (working late, not home all the time).

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One Response to “Online Control in South Korea – Lab 12”

  1. edemuyn2 said

    wow. i am absolutely stunned that the draw of video games could by powerful enough to overcome parental instincts to feed your baby.

    interesting comments.

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