Gaming Strategy
Featured Stories
Search News Subscribe
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Related Links
Search Our Archive of Gaming Articles 

South Korea's Online Addiction

22 November 2002

SOUTH KOREA – As reported by the BBC: "South Korea is one of the most wired societies in the world.

"More than half the population has access to the internet, and there are more than 25,000 cyber cafes - known here as PC Bangs - which are open 24 hours a day across the country.

"…It is a paradise for online gamers, who come from all over the world to play in South Korea.

"The government has been behind efforts to promote South Korea as an IT and cyber leader. But the more negative impacts of over-reliance on the web have only been recently acknowledged and are starting to be addressed.

"An extreme case of internet obsession hit the news headlines last month when 24-year-old Kim Kyung-jae collapsed and died after playing computer games at an internet cafe in the south-western city of Kwangju.

"He had been playing virtually non-stop for 86 hours.

"…But efforts are already under way to try to tackle the growing problem of internet addiction - with more than a third of web users thought to be at risk of dependency.

"Some on-line counselling services have been launched and in April, the first government-funded organisation - the Centre for Internet Addiction Prevention and Counselling - began operating.

"…The centre is carrying out research work on cyber addiction. Addicts typically spend more than four hours a day of non-work-related time on the internet.

"But experts say the definition of an addict is less to do with the number of hours spent online, but more about the central role computers and the internet can play in someone's life.

"…But the spell of cyberspace and its fantasy world can be hard to break. For many, the hardest decision they may have to make is when to turn the computer off for another day."

< Gaming News