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Name: David Kim
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A Law to Stop Hacking?

INSIDER ESPORTS - TehKorean talks about hackings progression and... uh... a law including jail time?

By David “tehkorean” Kim
The writing here is the opinion of the author alone and not necessarily the opinion of Insider eSports or its partners.


We all hate hacking; every single gamer who plays their selected game honestly hates hackers with a passion. It’s like that annoying pimple on your face that you just can’t get rid of, just staying there. Gross, I know…

Usually the only thing you can do about it is to ignore the problem itself till it goes away, but you should realize that it’s a problem and something needs to be done to it.

Game developers and publishers have implemented many forms of anti-hacks to discourage hacking from growing. Company Even Balance, Inc. created the famous Punkbuster program and many games such as the Battlefield series, Crysis, F.E.A.R, Medal of Honor, and much more have adopted it as their primary anti-hack.

Despite some success, you’ll always find a hacker playing in a Punkbuster game revealing that the program itself is far from perfect.

In Korea – a huge eSports country – the popular anti-hack program is Hackshield, a tool used by many ‘Free To Play’ games such as Maplestory, Combat Arms, and more. Still, even in Korea hackers are noticeable in each of those games, revealing that neither country nor software is completely perfect.

When push comes to shove, companies can use the mystical ‘ban hammer’.

Bans have been used to prevent hacks from for years and sure they work, but there’s one flaw: hackers just seem to never get the lesson and keep on coming back with even more persistence than last time.

So, we’ve gone through many ways to prevent hacks and yet hacking is still a very noticeable menace in our gaming society. Then what is the solution?

Is there anything in this world that can stop hacking or at least decrease the amount of hackers?

South Korea just might have the answer. Currently in South Korea, the government has placed a law on gaming. The law states that any hacker who is intentionally disturbing the public in an online game will be punished by law. At first the consequences aren’t very severe. However, the fact that jail time will be involved if convicted will discourage hackers significantly from ever thinking about bypassing any form of anti-hack.

Surveys have already noticed that with the passing of South Korea’s gaming law, hacking has gone down by practically 30% and continues to lower every year.

I understand that this is good for every online gamer in South Korea right now, but is threatening people with jail really a necessary consequence when it comes to hacking in an online video game?

I can fully understand that hackers and cheaters are annoying but do we really need to use jail as a tool of fear?

That’s the question of morals that I’d like to ask. Honestly, everybody knows that most hackers are young misguided teenagers or even kids that make a stupid mistake, and true most likely teenagers or children will not have to go to jail but the fact that they’ll have police knocking on their doors is a very worrying fact for many parents.

Most likely the very same lives of these young kids, who have their whole lives ahead of them, might even push their parents into economic trouble due to the fact that fines can go up to 1,000,000 WON (or 10,000 dollars US). It’s something to think of, I believe, as it can radically change the lives of many gamers our there.

In the end maybe this law might help.  But then again, maybe not…

But the unmistakable truth is that hacking and cheating is going to be a major problem in our gaming community to the point where even laws have been placed to discourage hacking in general. I hope that the United States never has to enter that point, however, video games is a billion dollar industry, an industry that most likely our government would like to respect and hold close.

Only time will show if our society really has to take that immense step into hacker prevention, or we’ll throw a law into hacking.

Comments: Add a Comment

quote#1 US Ghost 02/06/2009 - 22:58:53
If eSports wants to be taken seriously, I think it is a good law and action. Yes, most hackers are misguided teenagers, but they need to be taught a lesson. Obviously this law is working in South Korea because hacking has reportedly gone down 30%, so it is definitely impacting the eSports community in a positive manner.

Jail time is pretty serious, and although it does seem a bit absurd, but if that's what it takes, and we want eSports to grow, something obviously has to be done. Obviously hackers can evade Anti-Cheat Clients and Bans, but this might make it more severe, although it seems like it would be hard to enforce in my opinion.

Anyway nice writeup :)

quote#2 US RedruM 04/06/2009 - 07:13:29
leave it to the koreans to make crazy rules...but i think gaming is far more popular over there in korea, if baseball players go through a court trial for steriods, why shouldn't esports have have a same ruling...after all cheating is cheating.

quote#3 US aGent^ 04/06/2009 - 12:44:12
Just like playing any real game, you can cheat and should be able to cheat. If a quality league out there decides to ban hacks, and the hacker still participates (roids anyone?), then the league can ban that person. I think laws are not necessary here.

quote#4 US AGar 14/07/2009 - 18:42:41
Really, the law in S. Korea doesn't surprise me (although I had never heard about it until now :P) South Korea's eSports scene is like the American football scene. Hell, a few years back, a starleague finals had a larger attendance figure than an All-Star baseball game in the same area (Pusan) the same night.

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