South Korea to ban in-game item trades next month

Government ban to curb students from wasting time playing games.

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Starting next month, South Korea will ban in-game item trades in video games, according to a recent article on the Korean Times.

The upcoming government ban may be detrimental in games like Diablo III.
The upcoming government ban may be detrimental in games like Diablo III.

Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism recently announced a new law that will halt virtual item trading. The ban is meant to target the use of bots that allow the automatic collection of in-game items in massively multiplayer online titles. The ministry calculated that over 60 percent of the items exchanged were collected by those bots. Users who violate this law will face up to a 50 million won fine ($43,000) and five years in jail.

For arcade games, publishers and providers cannot list in-game items in their accounts as property, nor can they hand out gift certificates to claim virtual items.

According to Kim Kap-soo, head of the ministry's content policy division, the move is aimed at making sure students in the country did not waste time with games, saying the hobby of collecting virtual items for commercial use was a deterrent in creating a healthy game culture.

Along with a majority of MMO games like Dragon Nest that may be affected by this new law, Diablo III may be affected due to the in-game auction house option where players can pay any amount of money (in-game gold or real) to bid for items.

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