South Korea wants trading and farming digital content to be illegal

Posted on June 15, 2012 - 4:05pm by Sean Hinz

South Korea has what is called the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Television. They are the same group behind the gaming curfews we briefly mentioned last year. But those curfews have not had the desired effect on the youth population in the country, so it is time to take some drastic measures. Kim Kap-soo who is head of the ministry’s content division feels that games should only be used for “entertainment… academic and other good purposes”.

Using bots to farm for items is not a “good purpose” for playing a game. In fact, the ministry feels that by allowing such programs to exist and make up 50% of the market further encourages bad behavior and criminal activity. Trading and farming would be a “criminal offense with a penalty of ₩50 million ($45,000) max along with jail time should offenders be found guilty.”

This is a problem for some free to play games or even a game like Diablo 3, which encourages players to trade items in a virtual auction house. The law is still in its preliminary stages, so the trade aspect has not been clearly defined, but it seems like those aspects of the game would need to be completely removed or risk tying up the legal system. The law should be finalized across various Providences of South Korea in the coming month.  

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