South Korean Politicians Still Think Video Games Are Drugs

In South Korea, some politicians (certainly not all) seem to have it out for gaming. These politicians want video games in the same category as alcohol and even illegal drugs. P

Last month, for example, Hwang Woo-yea of the majority conservative Saenuri party talked about rescuing “society from evil.” ThisIsGame (via tipster Sang) quotes Hwang as saying:P

According to the Ministry of Welfare, four major categories of addiction where medical treatment is needed are 2.18 million alcoholics, 0.47 million internet gamers, 0.59 million gamblers, and 0.09 million drug addicts. The sum of them accounts for 6.7 precent of the population which adds up to 3.33 million people. This country has to be be saved from the four major addictions. We have to understand the pain individuals and families of alcohol, drugs, gambling, and game addicts go through, heal them and provide them with a proper environment so we can save our society from these evils.P

Hwang went on to call for strict regulations for game developers in South Korea. Obviously, the country’s game industry doesn’t seem too happy about this.P

The addiction bill hasn’t passed, but the country’s conservative Saenuri party keeps pushing it. And since this is the majority party, things do not look good. The country’s leader, President Park Geun-hye, is in the Saenuri party.P

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I happen to agree with the South Korean Politicians, think about why it most people play video games in the first place… because they are bored, sound familiar. Also video games designers make an effort to keep their users around by making their games more and more addicting. Just because it does not cause any physical harm to the body there are arguments that excessive video games may lead to mental problems.Would love to hear what you think…

3 thoughts on “South Korean Politicians Still Think Video Games Are Drugs

  1. This article is very interesting for me. Nowadays, South Korea has a lot of problem because of this new politics. I also totally agree with her opinion about more strict regulation to industry of game. However, government has to consider seriously about the regulation, because many years ago, government was encouraged industry of game to people. At that time, game industry could make a lot of money and gave to government a lot of profit. We all know culture of game is making big problem in South Korea now, however if they want to make strict regulation with them, they have to make another prepare for game industry.

  2. This is an interesting topic due to the fact that video games are currently legal to produce and purchase and they have a large, well established fan base, yet actual addictions can come for them. When the consumption and production of alcohol was banned in the United States it was done to increase the morality and safety of it’s citizens. While these intentions of the ban may have been good, the widespread popularity of alcohol made it impossible to effectively abolish it. While this is obviously similar in comparison to illegal drug use, the ban on alcohol was so ineffective because the culture had historically been shaped around its use. Now when we look at video games we cannot imagine a situation where video games will become entirely illegal, yet if people are causing harm to themselves and others around them the government may need to create some sort of restrictions for modern games. Yet just like alcohol maybe it is the right of every person to harm themselves through over consumption if they choose to do so.

  3. This is an interesting topic that how South Korea think about video games. In fact, there are lots of lab Caffe bars to supply internet surfing service. A lot of students like staying there to play online games or video games. I remember I read an article about a Korean parent was totally into play game for a few days at lab caffe. Their child died because of hungry. That’s horrible and unethical. South Korea should think about how to solve this problem.

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