Diablo 3 Gold farmer in action. Image credit: JustD3
A report from Korea Times says that online game items trading will be banned. The reason? The Korean government stated that trading online gaming items has gone way beyond control as it has caused “serious hindrance to creating a healthy game culture.” The Korean government also says that “item trades contribute to many problems in society, including teenage crime.” Thus action has to be taken.
Interesting. The term “healthy” is, of course, very subjective. But surely that’s probably contrary to what many gamers would think. Trading online gaming items, whether to look awesome, make a profit, or to become a more powerful character is a huge part of the fun. It creates a virtual marketplace for people to shop, browse, trade, and make friends. We all know that many of our friends from Korea are awesome gamers. I, for one, usually get thrashed whenever I meet them on Battle.net.
Details of the new rule will be announced later this month. No one knows for sure what the exact policy would be. But one thing is for sure: if the ban does go through, game companies will certainly see their revenue stream squeezed.
The policy doesn’t just affect MMORPG games. Arcade games will also be affected as they are barred from listing in-game items to attract buys. So games that are built for free and rely solely on in-game purchases will practically be left with little to no options to monetize their games.
Something good, perhaps, is that the new policy looks set to ban bot farmers from online gaming. Bot farmers use programs or scripts to collect loot without having a human player behind the screen. The Korean government stated that 60 percent of virtual items traded are collected from bots and such farming methods instill a negative reputation for online gaming. With the new policy, any guilty bot farmers found would be fined 50 million won with a maximum jail term of five years. Lucky that doesn’t happen in China, otherwise, it would be chaos!
While farming doesn’t bring much honor to any games out there, it does give some people a chance to survive. As a long time gamer, I thought farming was an activity that couldn’t be prevented. It’s all about demand and supply. There are folks who don’t mind farming to supply items or credits to those who don’t mind paying. It has become part of the MMORPG experience and perhaps also a crucial source of income for many people.
Link to full article