South Korea is mulling imposing fines on video game players who use illegal programs known as “hacks” to have an unfair advantage over opponents.
Amending local gaming laws: On Oct. 22, Rep. Jeon Jae-soo introduced a bill that aims to amend existing gaming laws, presenting new provisions that would penalize both creators and users of illegal programs. The lawmaker said the changes are necessary to curb the steady demand for such programs, which lead to increased criminal profits.
Proposed penalties: The amendments propose fines of 200,000 won ($154) for users of the illegal programs. Meanwhile, revised penalties for creators and distributors of such programs include up to five years in prison or a fine of 50 million won ($38,460).
Existing legislation: Current gaming laws in South Korea prohibit the development, distribution or sharing of gaming hacks. Penalties currently stand at a maximum of one year in prison or a fine of 10 million won ($7,690). However, the use of these hacks by gamers is not explicitly illegal.
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Public response: The proposed bill aligns with the global debate surrounding the use of illegal gaming programs, particularly in multiplayer online games. The amendments have sparked mixed reactions online, with some expressing support and others questioning the urgency of such a law. Critics of the proposal suggest that other pressing issues, like juvenile crime and drunk driving, should take precedence.
Past initiatives: A similar legislative effort targeting gamers who utilize these hacks was previously introduced during the 20th National Assembly but failed to gain sufficient support. The new initiative, which surfaced in the 21st National Assembly, still hangs in the balance as the assembly sets to conclude on May 29, 2024.
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