Authorities in South Korea plan to introduce a new law next month that will ban all virtual item trading and virtual item harvesting, as it says game item trading is one of the causes of teenage crime in the country.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is set to announce the details of the law next month, in a bid to encourage students not to waste time gathering virtual currency.
The law will also cover programs that some users utilize to automatically harvest items in online games without the need for the player to be present, covering the use of gold bot farming. The ministry estimates that over 60 percent of virtual items exchanged online in Korea are obtained via these automatic programs, reports The Korea Times.
Kim Kap-soo, head of the ministry's content policy division, said that the law was in aid of creating a healthy game culture in the country, noting that games should be used more often for academic purposes.
Anyone who violates the law may see a maximum fine of 50 million won ($43,000) and five years in prison. The ministry plans to provide the police department in Korea with active guidelines, such that it can actively enforce the law.