“Get back in the kitchen and make me a sandwich!”… “Don’t forget to put your hair up before you go down!”… “Tits or GTFO!” are common phrases used in online discourse. Most people can accept such phrases as mimetic jokes or efforts from the individual to troll another individual. This kind of language is seen as innocuous among most well-adjusted denizens of the internet, but not so in South Korea. In fact, saying any of the above lines could net you punitive repercussions in South Korea if a new bill manages to go through the legislative process.
Gaming outlet Dot Esports picked up the news from the South Korean outlet Naver. In the article it states that Kim Su-min, a secretary for the National Assembly’s Gender Equality and Family Committee, is working with university students as part of the youth legislative project she’s put together to develop the bill under the Young Frontier program.
In translated text, Kim explained that games like Overwatch is a breeding ground for “sexual harassment” and that it has become “rampant”…
“Overwatch, a popular online game, is a multi-user battle game (MOBA) in which participants cooperate and play games. They usually use voice chat instead of text. In this game, sexual harassment in voice chat against female participants is prevalent. “ […]
[…] “Recently, the incidence of sexual harassment has expanded online, diversified, and the number of victims has been continuously increasing.”
Kim further stated that the current laws are inadequate for dealing with sexual harassment in video games and that the bill being put together with the help of university students would help address voice chat.
Naver explains that Kim’s bill is designed around punishing people outside of work, with the article stating…
“Kim’s bill is based on the provision of a ground rule to punish a person who has committed sexual harassment that causes humiliation or disgust to the other person due to sexual intercourse or sexual demands outside the workplace, including information and communication networks.”
This kind of overbearing authoritarianism from the South Korean government is nothing new. The government has already put rather harsh restrictions in place for a lot of gamers in the region, and consider the pastime one of the “four evils” of their society along with drugs, gambling, and alcoholism.
If the bill does make it through the assembly then things could get even worse for South Korean gamers.
(Thanks for the news tip Ebicentre)
(Main image courtesy of Jester5728)