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South Korea bans botting in online RPGs

South Korea bans botting in online RPGs
The South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is announcing a new law next month that will make botting in online RPGs illegal. According to this governmental body's calculations, 60% of all in-game items traded for real currency were obtained by automated programs. The law will also ban the listing of items in arcade games as real property that can be exchanged for cash. The maximum penalty for breaking this law will be 5 million won (approximately $4,300) and five years in jail.

It is interesting to note that while the announcement states that the law's purpose is to "halt all virtual item trades," only botting is being banned in online RPGs. So WoW players who buy and sell gold will not be breaking this new law (though they do break the TOS), unless they are using bots to farm. This distinction also means that the Diablo III Real-Money Auction House will not be made illegal by this law; thus, South Korea's previous decision about the RMAH has not been negated.

Since the new law will not be announced until next month, some details may change. Regardless, the government sees botting and virtual item trades as barriers to a "healthy game culture," and it is willing to use legal means to eliminate the problem.

Filed under: News items

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