Should gaming addiction be considered a threat?

by Garvenski on November 3, 2017 - 6:18pm

As dusk arrives upon Seoul, Ji Yu-Tae and many other South Koreans prepare for a week-end of intense gaming. At his side, on the screen of the monitors in the PC bang, an internet cafe, are the scores of the other obsessives. Their online enslavement is a rapidly growing issue that concerns the whole South Korean population. According to those in power, about 10% of the online users have become addicted to the internet. They spend their time on online role-playing games, in which they lead a life of adventure, exploring the fantasy world. The 27-year-old mobile content developer (Ji Yu-Tae) says that the computer is part of his daily life because of his job and that in front of it is the place where he is the most comfortable. He also denies that is hobby is slowly turning into an addiction saying that it is how he chose to spend is time and he won’t stop until he’s at the end of the game.

  To prevent the addiction, the government invested in counselling centres and awareness class for children. They also placed countermeasures that directly affect players. The gamers under 18 will be unable to access some popular games between midnight and eight in the morning. Those who do play will see their character grow weaker.

South Korea is considered the driving force behind the gaming industry. There are more than 20,000 PC bangs and most of the homes have high speed internet. The population has easy access to the virtual worlds making unemployed men and college students the ones who are the most at risk of getting addicted.

Eo Gee-jun of the Korea Computer Life Institute, says the country is going through the hardships of being the first information society and that the authorities hesitate to support the online culture. He also points out that even though the government, that is supposed to promote gaming, has established regulations there isn’t any consequences if they are broken.    

The intensity of the problem as escalated since the arrival of online items that can be traded for real money. There as been numerous cases of death that involved gaming.  Dr. Kim Tae-hoon, a psychiatrist said that it was easier to play online games then having real life relationship and that people are now getting numb to human communications.

This article is dated from a few years ago. The reason I chose it is because the gaming industry in Canada is expanding, meaning that this issue also concerns us. Should the government of Canada start placing measures to prevent this outcome? Personally, I think that in our culture, gaming won’t become a major threat. Our culture promotes sports over video games and the Internet Cafe industry isn’t preeminent. Although I think that thousands of families are affected by it across Canada, I don’t think that the government should intervene in the matter because the professional gamers are too few to influence the younger generations. If the gaming industry flourishes further, maybe will we see an impact on the society, but the question remains: should we prevent the appearance of this issue in our country by placing regulations?  

McCurry, Justin. “Internet addiction driving South Koreans into realms of fantasy”. theguardian. 13 July 2010. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/jul/13/internet-addiction-south-korea.