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.
Rep. Shin Eui-jin, a member of the conservative Saenuri Party and former medical professor, is backed by fourteen 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]
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