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South Korea could make harassment in games illegal

A bill in South Korea, if made law, would make sexual harassment in video games punishable by the state.

The news comes from a Korean report, picked up on over at Dot esports, reporting that a representative for the National Assembly Gender Equality and Family Committee in the country is pushing for the likes of Overwatch to be regulated against harassment.

While Overwatch isn’t at the forefront of current discussions surrounding sexism in games, their communities, and at the their development studios – that honour falls to Riot for the time being – there’s definitely an issue with the game. Just as there’s an issue with most any game that allows for any form of open interaction between players.

With Korean players having to attach their social security numbers to their player profiles for Overwatch, it would be much easier for authorities to identify individuals engaging in unwanted behaviour. On one hand it does all sound a bit 1984, but on the other hand the amount of abuse in modern gaming is out of control and, for the sake of players’ mental health (and to keep games running and positive and – key – profitable) measures like this one may become more common in future.

Regulation in and around online gaming in South Korea is particularly tough. Back in January a 28-year-old man was handed a prison sentence and probation for selling cheat software for Overwatch, which violated a couple of laws that gaming fall under.

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