Korea Proposes Legislature To Ban Boosting

Until now, people couldn't punish boosting because no such law was in place. Riot Games and [...]

Generic League of Legends
(Photo: Riot Games)

Koreans take professional gaming very, very seriously. A simple glance into SKT T1's trophy case makes that obvious even for those who are ignorant of the country's record in the Starcraft scene. Gaming is a very common way to pass time for the youth in Korea, and PC Bangs, Korea's version of American internet cafes, are exceptionally popular hangout spots. Keep this in mind as you continue reading.

In Korea, it will soon be against the law to hack into game files or to play games on illicit private servers. Gaming is no joke in their country, and while it certainly sounds odd to for there to be laws governing gaming to American ears, it's apparently just politics as usual for Koreans.

If Lee Dong Sub, a Korean legistlator, has his way, then these won't be the only activities that will be punishable once the new ban comes through. Sub offered an amendment to the proposed bill yesterday that would punish, of all things, boosting. While in America boosting is certainly frowned upon, it's usually not seen as something legally questionable, simply a violation of the terms of service. In Korea, however, many games require the Korean equivalent of a social security number in order to sign up, so there's a solid argument to be had that Korean elo boosters aren't just violating the ToS, they're also committing fraud in the process.

The full announcement can be read in translated form below. Note the ungodly possible sentence that getting caught boosting would carry. They mean business. The untranslated article can be found here.

"June 12th, Lee Dong Sub, and 9 other legislators proposed an amendment towards punishing 'Professional Boosters'. 'Boosting' is when a 3rd person plays your account, raising your level or tier in exchange for money.

The proposed amendment includes strong punishment towards these 'Boosters', if a 'Booster' were to disrupt gameplay by powerleveling/boosting for pay, they can be faced with up to 2 years of imprisonment or fine up to20,000 US$ (Approximately) Until now, people couldn't punish boosting because no such law was in place. Riot Games and Korean Esports Association has been sending out warnings or C&D requests to boosting streamers or websites, but couldn't meet the player's expectations. Because of this, not only the gamers are suffering, but Esports has been taking a hit as well.

The legislator whom passed the bill has said 'To give an example on why Boosting is so bad, it's like taking a test but instead of you answering the questions, you pay someone else to take the test for you', and also stated 'There is 3 cancer that is plaguing the gaming industry and Esports, illegal hacks, illegal private servers, and professional boosters.

I have already passed a law making hacks and private servers punishable by law, and it is going into effect by the end of this month. It is now time for boosting's turn. With this amendment, I will protect the gaming industry and the Esports scene.'"