Tag: game addiction

The World Says ‘No’ to Game Addiction Law

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12 organizations including ESA(Entertainment Software Association) issued a statement that opposes South Korea’s controversial ‘Game Addiction Law’ bill to members of the National Assembly of Republic of Korea on 11th of June. The participating organizations are from all over the world including Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Italy, Ireland, and Poland.

The proposed Game Addiction Law bill is classifying the online game as an addictive substance comparable to alcohol and narcotics.

“Likening video games to alcohol and narcotics is unprecedented. Such a classification is particularly unjustified given the lack of consensus in the medical community about whether internet usage can form the basis of a psychiatric diagnosis, let alone online gaming,” said the statement. “Once the legislation passes, the whole gaming industry will suffer disgrace and leave its reputation as the leading country broken. the value of the (Korean) game market would eclipse (US$11 billion) in 2014 and that online games account for more than 90% of Korea’s total video game exports. The Korean video game market, and online games in particular, should therefore be a source of great national pride.”

 

Following is the full statement of ESA:

 

Members of the National Assembly
Republic of Korea

Dear Sir / Madam,

On behalf of the undersigned trade associations, which collectively represent the leading publishers and developers of interactive entertainment software from around the world, I write today to express our industry’s concern with the proposed Korean Bill for Addiction Prevention, Management and Treatment (“Bill”), which would amend Korean law to classify internet games as an addictive substance comparable to alcohol and narcotics. Pursuant to such a classification, publishers of internet games would be subject to various regulations, including limitations on the means by which publishers advertise and sell their games.

As global representatives of the game industry, we stand in solidarity in opposing this legislation. Likening video games to alcohol and narcotics, substances that have for decades been scientifically proven to be both physically addictive and potentially deadly, is unprecedented. Such a classification is particularly unjustified given the lack of consensus in the medical community about whether internet usage can form the basis of a psychiatric diagnosis, let alone online gaming.

Unfortunately, this Bill is only the latest effort to emerge from Korea that regulates the video game industry. Although President Geun-Hye Park recently identified the video game industry as an integral part of Korea’s burgeoning “creative economy,” there is a growing sense that excessive regulation is stifling the potential growth of the industry.

We note, for instance, that the recent passage of the “shutdown policy” under the Juvenile Protection Act has prompted gaming companies to limit their service offerings to the Korean gaming public due to difficulties involved in complying with the law. Given that Korean developers have for years been on the leading edge of innovation in the online gaming space, we worry that excessive domestic regulations will have collateral effects on the global industry.

Perhaps more important are the ill effects that continued over-regulation may have on the growth of Korea’s national economy. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism(“MCST”) recently predicted that the value of the domestic game market would eclipse 11 trillion won in 2014 and that online games account for more than 90% of Korea’s total video game exports. The Korean video game market, and online games in particular, should therefore be a source of great national pride. Passage of the Bill would, however, unfairly stigmatize the industry and put at risk Korea’s reputation as a leading developer of online games. We sincerely hope the legislation that would impose yet another set of burdensome regulations would not pass the National Assembly. We would also like to pledge our support to work collaboratively with the National Assembly to identify ways our industry can make positive contributions that are in the interest of the Korean public.

Respectfully,

 

Michael D. Gallagher
President and CEO
Entertainment Software Association

Ron Curry
CEO
Interactive Games & Entertainment Association

Guillaume de Fondaumière
Co-CEO, Executive Producer
European Game Developers Association

Alberto Gonzalez
President
Spanish Association of Distributors and Publishers of Entertainment Software (aDeSe)

Jayson Hilchie
President and CEO
Entertainment Software Association of Canada

Simon Little
Managing Director
The Interactive Software Federation of Europe

Thalita Malago
Secretary General
Italian Games Industry Association (AESVI)

Antony Reed
CEO
Game Developers Association of Australia

Dr. Maximilian Schenk
Director
Federal Association of Interactive Entertainment (BIU – Germany)

Paul Solleveld
President
The Dutch Association for Producers and Importers of Image and Sound Carriers (NVPI)

David Sweeney
CEO
Games Ireland

Dr. Jo Twist
CEO
The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE)

Dominika Urbańska–Galanciak
Managing Director
Polish Association of Entertainment Software Developers and Distributors (SPIDOR)

MBC Distortedly Connects ‘Pimir’ Minki Chun’s Suicide Attempt to Gaming Addiction

There is an ongoing controversy regarding MBC’s (Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, one of major broadcasters in Korea) editing of the head investigator’s interview regarding the suicide attempt of AHQ Korea’s professional gamer ‘Pimir’ Minki Chun.

MBC News Today reported on the 14th that Minki Chun exposed the rigging of <League of Legends> games and attempted suicide afterwards.  This news report contained an excerpt from the interview of the head investigator that stated “Played a lot of games over many sleepless nights, and attempted suicide at a moment’s decision.”

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Netizens rose up and expressed their discontent saying that the interview of the investigator was misleading to the viewers of the particular news.  The “played a lot of games over many sleepless nights” phrase in the interview may mislead viewers to think that gaming addiction was the cause of the suicide attempt.

As it is already known to the public, Minki Chun’s suicide attempt was directly related to the rigging of the games.  However, MBC began the specific news segment focusing on the existence of ‘gambling’ within eSports, and eventually edited the interview to bring out the subject of ‘gaming addiction.”  By doing this, they have led the viewers to believe that a gaming addicted previous professional gamer got caught in a web of gambles and ultimately attempted to take his own life.

Furthermore, MBC pessimistically reported the news, even stating that the <League of Legends> tournaments may be shut down.  However, the current issue solely deals with the previous coach Dae-Chul Roh’s fraud schemes, and has no direct relations with gaming addictions.

Minki Chun revealed the rigging of the <League of Legends> games and attempted suicide.  After revealing that his sponsor team ahq Korea’s coach, Dae-Chul Roh, had formed his team in the beginning with the sole purpose of fraud, he posted the words “I am leaving after posting these words.”

When the news aired, the netizens rose up against MBC.  The netizens wished for MBC to convey the correct message, saying that “they are destroying the honor of a victim of fraud, titling him with titles such as gaming addict and gambler.  We can’t help but suspect MBC of deliberate editing of the interview.”

On the other hand, Minki Chun is currently hospitalized and have recently regained consciousness.  Riot Games has expressed their concerns for the player, and have promised various forms of support for the suffering player.  Korean eSports Committee plans to pursue this case of fraud and to take lawful procedures.

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“Larger corporations must lead the movement in order to overcome the gaming regulations”

Translated by Jeff Lee from Kiyat Games (https://www.facebook.com/KiyatGames)

Senator Chun Byung-Hun, the representative member of the Democratic Party as well as the president of the Korean e-Sports Association, called out to the larger gaming corporations for an active stance on the gaming regulations.

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Senator Chun paid a visit to the G-Star convention center on the 16th and held a press conference in which he quoted “the larger gaming corporations of Korea must voice out in order to rid the public of misunderstandings regarding games.”

Senator Chun commented: “I’ve heard from the G-Star related reports that there were an increase in the presence of foreign developers and a decrease in that of our domestic developers.  I feel that this may be credited to the recent wave of unfortunate news regarding the gaming industry.  However, it is my belief that we must not conform to and be affected by such waves.”

Furthermore, he commented: “It is especially important in such times as these that leading gaming corporations take the initiative and take action in order to be the role model for other smaller gaming businesses to follow.  The larger corporations must act as a big brother figure to the other businesses and set up an ‘umbrella’ for others to partake within.”

Senator Chun believes that the recent regulations have occurred due to the false stereotypes and misunderstandings for games in general.  He calls for gaming industry to overcome these recent circumstances by facing them head on, and to stand up proudly in being the leading industry in the feature economy.

Regarding the recent gaming addiction issues, Senator Chun commented that “the issue will no longer exist if children are taught the correct gaming usages in their schools and homes, and when games steadily become a household culture.  In fact, putting a veil called addiction on top of gaming will only bring social side-effects.”  He commented further saying: “it has come to my attention that opinions are varying greatly among the different parties.  I will try my best in order to bring about a just conclusion to this addiction issue.”

Worries became reality, unfair ruling of addiction court

Translated by Jeff Lee from Kiyat Games (https://www.facebook.com/KiyatGames)

The October 31st parliamentary assembly, which had the legislative bill for the addiction prevention & management as its focus, had progressed unfairly, favoring the side that consented to the bill.  This particular assembly had previously received public criticism on the fact that the distribution of the members was not equal.  The schedule of the event shows the inequality in the distribution of the participants, with majority of them being individuals who had already shown their consent with the bill in question.

The worries of many had become a reality once the event commenced.

Yoon Myung-Sook, the Professor of Social Welfare at the University of Chonbuk, gave a speech titled “The harmful effects of addiction and the decrease in the socioeconomic status of Korea,” referring to drugs, alcohol, gambling, and gaming (The Four Great Addictions).  The problem lies in the examples that she had used.

In midst emphasizing the urgency of gaming addictions, she had shown examples of “internet addiction” and had begun using the words “internet gaming” and ultimately weirdly merged internet addiction and gaming addiction.  The supporting evidence that she had used were incidents that were already concluded as results of bad human relations, such as the homicide incidents that were once connected to gaming addictions.

The evidence that Professor Yoon has put forth is very similar to the content of “100 truths and misunderstandings about addictions” previously released by the Korean Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.  They are especially similar in that they both use evidence of internet addiction and bad human relations.

Professor Lee Hae-Guk of Uejeongbu St. Mary’s Hospital’s neuropsychiatric department said that “Just as games stimulate and reward the players, gaming can cause addictions in similar ways as that of gambling and alcoholism.  The two speakers who presented their case during the assembly had only supported the bill, and there were no others who spoke in opposition to the bill.

The emcee’s (Professor Ki Sun-Won) improper attitude also became a subject of criticism during the last corner of the event, the plenary debate.  The emcee had obviously given favoritism towards the consenters, giving them more opportunities to speak out, and as well as publicly showing his agreeing attitude about the bill while emceeing.

Director Kim Jong-Deuk of Game Developer Foundation asked during the debate: “All games eventually run out of content and the players themselves eventually quit themselves after enjoying all of the product.  Why are games included in the Four Great Addictions debate?”   Professor Ki responded to this: “It is blasphemous that persons from the gaming industry argue when psychiatric doctors have come to the conclusion that it counts as an addiction.  Put forth a proper and detailed lawful counterargument.”

Furthermore, when Director Kim questioned the use of evidence on internet addictions in order to prove the dire circumstances of gaming addiction, Professor Ki responded “Do not nitpick at words.”

Professor Lee Dong-Yun of Korea National University of Arts commented on Director Kim’s statement saying that “once games are set as addiction materials, they become something that people cannot suggest to children.”  Upon hearing this comment, Professor Ki gave another person the chance to talk, and ultimately ignored Professor Lee’s comments.

It seems unlikely that the assembly will go unnoticed by critiques, looking at the blunt favoritism of the assembly towards the consenters: recruitment of psychiatric doctors in order to prove the medical aspect of the addiction, and the establishment of many panels that support the bill.  The fact that the emcee of the event freely expressed his own opinions on multiple occasions while hosting the debate cannot be ignored.

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Gaming Is Dead. Proposal To Dress In ‘Funeral Attires’ For G-Star

Translated by Jeff Lee from Kiyat Games (https://www.facebook.com/KiyatGames)

The latest buzz among the recent news is the proposal to attend this year’s upcoming G-Star convention dressed in funeral attires in order to represent opposition to the Four Addictions bill.

On the day of the parliamentary assembly (31st), a certain community website received a posting titled “Cosplay this year’s G-Star.”  This posting contained an image titled “RIP Korean Gaming Industry” along with a proposal to attend this year’s G-Star in funeral attires.

Originally posted at 5 PM on the 31st, this posting quickly spread to many other popular community sites and became viral amongst the community.  The individuals who read the postings had various statements to make, such as: ‘This is urgent.  We need to consider this as an emergency,’ ‘G-Star is meant to promote gaming, but gaming will be given a funeral in this year’s convention,’ ‘This act of protest need to be participated by the officials rather than by the gamers.’

Each of the community sites got their fair share of various suggestions on the methods of the protest.  Some suggested attending the event wearing tags that display the G-Star logo in a funeral frame, much like a funeral would have the picture of the deceased in a frame.  Many compared this phenomenon to the previous similar occurrence that had made significant dent in the cartoon and animation industry.

The gamers’ actions are acts of opposition to the bill that had been proposed on April 30th, by Senator Shin Eu-Jin of the Saenuri Party.  In effect, the bill would place gaming among the four great addictions along with alcohol, gambling, and drugs.

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