How serious is gaming addiction?
According to the Washington Post, 2.4% of South’s Korea’s population aged 9-39 suffers from gaming addiction. Another 10.2% are considered to be borderline cases.
In 2005 alone, ten people died from game addiction related causes.
A couple in Incheon, Korea was arrested in June 2005 when they left their 4-month old daughter alone at home for five hours while going to play World of Warcraft at a PC Baang(Internet café). The baby died of suffocation from turning over on her stomach while the parents were gone.
A number of reasons are blamed for the rise of online gaming addiction in South Korea. They range from the longer amount of time needed to finish extensive gaming objectives or storylines, to inexpensive Internet access (averaging $30.00 a month for household high-speed Internet services), to a society used to living in small apartments or homes trying to escape unfulfilling daily lifestyles.
The Washington Post says, “Gaming addiction is in part because young people here suffer from acute stress as they face educational pressures said to far exceed those endured by their peers in other countries. It is not uncommon, for instance, for South Korean students to be forced by their parents into four to five hours of daily after-school tutoring. With drug abuse and teenage sex considered rare in the socially conservative country, escape through electronic games can be a huge attractive outlet.”
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