South Korea Cracks Down on Virtual Item Trading
Woah! And you thought your friend’s Korean mother was bad. The South Korean government recently announced that later this year the trade and sale of online game items including gold merchant sites (or as we know them, meso sites) will become illegal. Kim Kap-soo, Head of the South Korean Ministry’s Content Policy Division said Wednesday, “The main purpose of the games is for entertainment and should be used for academic and other good purposes,” adding that approximately 60% of items exchanged were obtained through the use of automatic ‘bot’ programs and are giving online games a bad reputation.
As for those daring players who choose to ignore the law, well, let’s just say don’t drop soap! Violators will face a fine of up to 50 million won (approximately $43,370 USD) and 5 years in prison. Guidelines to enforce the new law will be disbursed to provincial administrations and police departments. The South Korean Ministry claimed in their statement that item trading causes many problems in society such as teenage crime and insists the law is necessary.