South Korea and gaming addiction

The world is full of people addicted to games if the media is be believed, yet even the recent Panorama witch-hunt could only find three people addicted to games in the UK. So, off they went to South Korea to show what apparently heading our way in the near future. This made me want to search for more facts rather than opinion.

Whilst the people of North Korea struggle behind closed doors, their neighbours in South Korea continue to lead the world with the fastest broadband speeds in the world and even hope to be getting speeds of 1 Gbps service by 2012. To put it into perspective, that is 200 times as fast as your typical 5 Mbps DSL connection that you may find here in the UK. With super-fast speeds like this I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised that an estimated 17 million people in the country of 48 million play video-games as they lead the way in the MMO and online gaming industries.

Reports suggest that a typical high school student, meanwhile, spends 23 hours a week playing games online and the world’s media has been quick to blame much of the country’s problems on their favourite pastime. In fact, as you read this your perception of South Korea will probably be something along the lines of “I hear the nation is addicted to games and they play for 20 hours at a time and it has even driven many people to suicide or even murder!” In truth it was this growing theory in the media that made me want to find out more. (more…)