“Boosting” Banned in South Korea

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Via Polygon- “Boosting — basically one person playing on another’s account to rank them up — is going to be a criminal offense in South Korea with some stiff punishments awaiting the booster.

The new measure comes courtesy of an amendment to the country’s Game Industry Promotion Act, reports The Daily Dot. That law was passed in June 2017. This new measure was developed in collaboration with the video games industry in the country and will punish boosters with a fine of up to 20 million won, which is roughly $18,000. They also get a two-year suspended prison sentence[…]

Esports are incredibly popular in South Korea, and it’s interesting to see laws being passed at the federal level of government in a completely modernized country, something I’d imagine would be difficult to do in the United States. This amendment, which was recently added to the Game Industry Promotion Act, passed last year, makes illegal “boosting,’ which is when a person, normally someone quite good at a video game, will be paid by another individual to rank up their character in a competitive game so that their account is in a certain high tier rank. It would be as if Lionel Messi wore a jersey that said “Steve Bastek” on it, and then when the World Cup came around, Steve put on the jersey and played on the Argentinian National Team.

While the law and fine amount seems to be a solid deterrent against boosting, the additional punishment, however, does seem to be harsh. I can understand the placement of a fine on boosting, but a two-year prison sentence seems excessive. It will be interesting to see if and how the amendment is implemented and what consequences will come from players’ boosting others’ accounts.