According to a recent report from PCGamesN, South Korean legislators are considering a bill that would make sexual harassment in online games a crime punishable by law. The bill, which was introduced by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family’s Kim Su, seems to aim to amend a previously passed piece of legislation that defined the legal repercussions for sexual harassment in the workplace. The original article, from South Korean news site Naver, specifically highlights Blizzard’s popular team-based FPS Overwatch as a game in which sexual harassment is “rampant.”
This move from the South Korean government comes at a particularly salient time, as gaming studios and players alike continue to contend with toxic cultures and communities, as in the case of the ongoing scandal over gender-based discrimination and harassment at Riot Games. Although it’s currently unclear whether South Korea’s proposed bill will pass, and if it does, what the public’s reaction will be, it’s certainly interesting to see a national government stepping into one of gaming culture’s most hotly contested warzones.