The hero of this blog is the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea. Please. It’s not what I intended.
Anyway, the Ministry of Culture considers banning the online game money/item trading (gold-farming) as a part of comprehensive set of countermeasures for game addiction it prepares. You play more games because you can earn money for playing game because there are game item which can be traded, the logic flows… The Ministry of Culture considers the item trading as one of important reasons of game addiction.
An industry worth of 1.5 billion dollars a year is about to disappear.
For now, only the trading of game money for s0-called ‘web board’ games such as online poker 0r ‘go-stop’ (popular traditional Korean card game) is illegal. Because there are illegal money exchangers who exchange the game money for real money. That turns the web board games into real gambling which is under tight control of government. Actually, you can gamble only in few government approved casinos in Korea.
Plan A is to ban the game item trading not only for web board games but also for Massive Multiple Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG)s. Plan B is simply to ban all the item trading. Dedicated item trading sites has no choice but to close their services. Plan A and B is not different in effect because most of game items are traded in MMORPGs.
“This is not a finalized plan, and we are deliberately pondering on whether we should ban the item trading or not given the scale of item trading industry,” said an official of the Ministry of Culture.
The Korean Association of Game Industry, which represents the major game companies does not oppose to government policy to ban the game item trading.