South Korea Bans Real Money Trading of Virtual World Items
If you're in Korea and you play World of Warcraft, Second Life, or any of the dozens of huge online games popular in that country, you'll probably want to read this: According to the Korea Times, "Korea has decided to ban trade for commercial game items from the second half of this year as a measure aimed at encouraging students to not waste time." This isn't a "pay a small fine and go home" law, either, because penalties include a maximum of five years jail time. As Eurogamer says, "The law is the final nail in the coffin for Diablo 3's Auction House in South Korea, where Blizzard has endured a torrid time in recent months." That sounds about right, because Blizzard's games are hugely popular in the country. However, I'd like to see more follow-up on this story; I doubt Korea's massive massively online world industry will let this law stay law without a fight. For that matter, what's North Korea going to make of it, now that hackers for the dictatorship supplement its income with South Korean gold farming?