You Can Now Go To Prison in South Korea For "Boosting" in Online Games

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In South Korea, boosting is now a criminal offence and could land you behind bars. No, seriously.

For those that don't know: boosting is basically the act of a player speeding up the process of gaining awards or experience, typically in an online game, with methods that aren't supported or encouraged by developers of the game or its larger online community. If you're familiar with boosting you probably know that it manifests in multiple ways.

For example, you could have your friend join the opposite team and let themselves be killed by you so that you can speed up whatever reward process you're trying to get through. In games like Rocket League, boosting can also refer to when a really good player makes another "smurf" account to help lower-tiered friends win matches easily.

Apparently in South Korea, boosting -- particularly boosting by playing on someone else's account to boost their ranking -- is a prevalent problem, or at least a big enough issue that it caught the South Korean government's legislative eye.

In South Korea, there are multiple people and companies that offer boosting as a service, particularly for games like Overwatch and League of Legends, both of which are very popular in the country.

Artificially bringing players of low-skill into higher ranked matches upsets the balance of the game, or at least this is what the South Korean government reasons.

In South Korea, people caught boosting can now face a fine of up to 20 million won ($18,000 USD) and even be sentenced to two years in prison. This is thanks to a new amendment to the Game Industry Promotion Act, which was passed back in 2017 to help shield popular games and the companies behind them from cheaters.

To send someone to prison for boosting in a video game seems a little extreme, and something that would probably never happen here in the United States. But I guess you gotta do what you gotta do to protect the sanctity of Overwatch and League of Legend matches.

1comments

A hefty fine seems a more reasonable punishment for people that participate in boosting. Or you could just let the game sort itself out by naturally pushing boosters back down whenever they decide to play after getting boosted.

Source: Inven