South Korea now has a law criminalizing the act of boosting in online games

    
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YOU ARE MY TOOLS

Let’s say you really care about your competitive rank in a video game, but you don’t have the time to actually practice and get good at the game to improve your rank. This is where boosting comes in; you let someone else log in and play on your account to artificially inflate your rank, usually for a fee. And it’s enough of a problem in South Korea that it has now been declared illegal, meaning that you can get a prison sentence for boosting someone’s account.

It is admittedly a suspended sentence.

Boosting companies operate for several popular games in South Korea, most notably Overwatch and League of Legends, and the practice is accused of disrupting the actual high-end balance of the game. The new rules are an extension of the 2017 Game Industry Promotion Act, and while it doesn’t directly affect gamers in the US it will have an indirect effect on the overall gaming environment.

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Weilan

Gaming is in such a good state in Korea… I wish finally in the EU they take it more seriously and start prosecuting cheaters, like having them pay a fine like 100,000 Euro.

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Robert Mann

Boosting is somewhat odd. I have to wonder how many people actually play after boosting, or if they instead just screenshot their ranks to brag about it. I know at least a few do, based on prior gaming experience (defeating people like nothing repeatedly) where the boosting was accomplished via throw-away accounts and specific matching (aka, one person would play a dummy account and get killed repeatedly).

It certainly didn’t help the people in actual play, it merely made the ranking system there a joke (although in the games I am thinking of it wasn’t used for matchmaking). I imagine with matchmaking it would be worse, as people would be jumping to play against people with more practice, better knowledge, or more precise coordination within the game… so in cases with matchmaking it seems really self-defeating and stupid.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

This seems a little… extreme.

I know some countries takes videos gaming seriously than others, but I didn’t think South Korea takes it THIS seriously.

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Utakata

Yeah…it seems something that should be left to game companies to deal instead of the state. Unless SK plans to nationalize the entire gaming industry over there. Even then, that would still be excessive. o.O

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Bruno Brito

Funny, when such becomes a crime in a country where almost 80% of it’s male population have inflicted some sort of abuse in their female partners.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/24/almost-80-south-korean-men-have-abused-girlfriend-study-claims/

https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2103896/south-korean-police-crack-down-dating-violence

From what i recall, most domestic violence charges are paid with fines. Brazil was in a similar position, where you could beat the crap outta your wife and get out with a fine, or the payment of groceries to poor families. But sometimes, even community service was ok.

Then we got “Maria da Penha”, which completely changed stuff here. While still a dangerous country for women ( which one isn’t? ), the law helped a ton, making impossible for any kind of violent man to get alternative punishments, instead, the time is from three months from the minor possible abuse, to three years, and the time must be complete even if the couple reconciles. You can’t also pay a fine. The punishment is to be done by jailtime.

Man, it’s times like these where i wonder if we’re so morally corrupt that our priorities are this much skewed.

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agemyth 😩

The idea of using this kind of law against organized companies that profit from harming game economies isn’t terrible, but it isn’t hard to imagine some powerful game company pushing the definition of what harms their bottom line too far.

CapnLan
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CapnLan

It’s important to note that many games in South Korea require you to link a Korean Social Security Number (KSSN) to your game account. In the past I tried to sign up for some Korean MMO betas only to be refused because I don’t have a KSSN. I’m no expert in Korean law by any means, but that opens up the possibility of theft and fraud when you give your account with your KSSN to someone else.

So yeah this all sounds weird at first but it makes a bit more sense when you have government issued social security numbers involved. Of course the fact that they even need to use a KSSN to register for a video game is a whole different topic, but there it is.

Antiseptic
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Antiseptic

KSSN linked to any of the main Korean telecom provided phone numbers are required for registering ANY online account whether it be a game company, online portal like Naver, Daum Cafe, etc (not sure if the KR sites for non-Korean sites like Facebook, Instagram, etc now ask for this info during registration). Part of it was implemented as a way to deal with their strict anti-defamation laws. Another part is used as a means to verify age for certain services (for gaming, there is a curfew for minors). They implemented this early on when they rolled out broadband where it’s just seen as normal by citizens there.

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Robert Mann

Actually, I like the KSSN system. It means that the internet can have consequences, which is rare elsewhere in the world.

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Mark Jacobs

There are times when I miss the old days of smaller audiences, smaller budgets, etc. Not many mind you, but today would be one of them. At least making games then was about just making the game fun so people would play them. Between this and the story about the UK (and as I said in another thread, more are coming) looking at lootboxes, I just have to sigh.

Cyclone Jack
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Cyclone Jack

I miss those days more often than not. :( We’ve sacrificed much to get to where we are today, but this isn’t really the thread for that.

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Mr Poolaty

What in the actual fuck?

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Zora

When you can’t tell anymore whether you’re reading actual news or you’re knee-deep in your favourite dystopian-future novel, but you realize it happens in (hopefully) too much of a world apart in both society and culture to have you worried about the fact the line between the fiction and reality has gotten so blurry…

Max Headroom was ahead of its time <3

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McGuffn

This shouldn’t be a crime. The boosters are the victims and they probably play the games so much they are addicted and need recovery treatment at a swanky spa.