Several of the best Starcraft players in the professional circuit are under investigation for illegal gambling and throwing matches. For those who don’t know Starcraft is so popular in South Korea that a professional league was started. There’s even an ESPN style channel on TV dedicated to the world of Starcraft gaming.
As part of Korea’s human rights laws, it is illegal to release criminals’ names. Unofficially a “blacklist” of players was briefly posted and taken down from the internet. These top players were on the list.
- Myung Soo (Yarnc)
- Chan Soo (Luxury)
- Sang Ho (SangHo)
- Jung Woo (EffOrt)
- Yong Hwa (Movie)
- Jae Yoon (sAviOr)
- Taek Yong (Bisu)
- Byong Goo (Stork)
- Jae Wook (BeSt)
- il Jang (hero)
- Myung Hoon (fantasy)
- Heui Seung (UpMaGiC)
- Jae Dong (Jaedong)
- Sang Moon (Leta)
- Jong Seo (Justin)
- Chang Hee (go.go)
The scandal seems to involve damn near everyone involved in the league. If everything is rigged they might as well just get Vince McMahon to run the show.
And if that’s not enough, due to too many MMORPG players playing till they die, a curfew has been enacted. According to the Korean Herald (an English language Korean Newspaper), “A pair of policies were announced yesterday that will attempt to block underaged access to online computer games after midnight in light of the rising problem of video game addiction among youth.”
IT has been nicknamed the “Nighttime Shutdown” by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. It is assumed that either the gaming companies or the ISPs are actively involved in the policing of the curfew considering what is happening. Under aged users are to be automatically logged off for a designated 6 hour blackout time. Gamers will be given three options for their black-out period –midnight-6 a.m.,1-7 a.m., and 2-8 a.m.
A dramatically slowed down connection speed is also to be implemented when they are connected for a lengthy period of time. The ministry has not said what constitutes lengthy.
Every conceivable game cannot be policed this way so the policies will only affect the most popular game worlds.
- Barameui Nara
- Maple Story
The slowdown scheme is getting a test run now on the Dungeon & Fighter, and Dragon Nest, and will be extended to 19 other RPS later this year. These games cover 79% of the Korean game market.
Knowing that kids will find ways around the restrictions they are also adding that all game accounts have to use their parents resident registration number to activate.
Of course the game companies are not to happy about the situation. But due to the high demand and money to be made I don’t think we’ll see any companies moving oversea to avoid the restrictions.
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