You can fined up to 20 million won, the equivalent of just under $18,000 USD, or face up to two years in prison if you’re caught offering boosting services or running a company that allows gamers to receive boosts in various MMO and other competitive online games.
Eventhubs picked up the news from Korean news site Inven, which rolled out the news about the new ban on boosting in games as part of the Games Industry Promotion Act, which originally made its way across the National Assembly’s plenary back in 2016 but wasn’t put into effect until recently.
For those of you unfamiliar with game boosting, it involves paying someone to level-up your character to a high-level, or working with a group of other players to boost up a character by having various players feed their character to the person trying to boost up their level.
Boosting has been around ever since gamers got tired of trying to grind endlessly to level up or avoid paying for XP boosters from the cash shop.
However, South Korea feels as if it required the attention of legislature to make it illegal. The bill was originally presented last year and was eventually passed through the National Assembly to become ratified. Representative Lee Sang-sup explained why the South Korean government took aim at game-boosting, saying…
“Most of the popular games are suffering from professional dealer game companies. It has been a cancerous thing that hurts the e-sports ecosystem as well as the casual gamers as well as the general users. But now that the amendment has been passed, it will help to create a healthy e-sports ecosystem.”
This measure is aimed both at individuals boosting for players, as well as companies that run businesses based solely around boosting player-characters in games. According to the National Assembly, some of these companies are making millions of won (or thousands of dollars) from game boosting, and they want to put an end to it.
South Korea has had a real hard-on for making the lives of gamers miserable within the region, this includes enforced curfews that prevent gamers from under the age of 17 from playing video games after a certain time, as well as militarized re-education camps to break video game addiction. They’ve implemented a number of draconian societal measures to force kids and teenagers from being addicted to video games. South Korea has also been looking into making sexual harassment in online games illegal as well.
This is just an added measure to make life just a little extra harder for South Korean gamers.
(Thanks for the news tip zac za)
(Main image courtesy of Nicketheman)