With the world of competitive gaming becoming more widespread and thus taking on more stiff competition, the South Korean government has decided to create a new law that would make boosting illegal in the country. Boosting, or the act of charging a player to artificially raise their rank in a game, was recently tacked on to the existing Game Industry Promotion Act. Previously, the act targeted hackers of video games, awarding them with a prison sentence or monetary fine achievements. With the new amendment to the law, as reported by Inven, a Korean news site (via Dot Esports), players or boosting companies can be fined up to 20 million won ($18,000) and face up to a two-year suspended prison sentence.
While the new amendment was passed in South Korea, the country is not the only one plagued by the practice. The Overwatch League dealt with players caught boosting in their inaugural season. Philadelphia Fusion player Su-min “Sado” Kim was suspended 30 games at the beginning of the season, and Son “OGE” Min-seok of the Dallas Fuel was suspended four games, returning in April for Stage 3. Both players are originally from South Korea, which shows just how prominent boosting is there and how easily it permeates into other leagues and countries.
Boosting and hacking is an incredibly huge deal within the gaming community, and companies such as Blizzard Entertainment are doing all they can to stop it. Blizzard has worked alongside South Korean authorities within the cybersecurity division in order to target and put an end to illegal programs designed to help players cheat in their games. Blizzard has gone as far as requiring Korean players to input their social security number to log into Overwatch in order to prevent cheating. While cheating in video games is in no way exclusive to South Korea, it does provide hope for the industry as a whole when a country’s government takes such a harsh stance against cheating. As they say, cheaters never prosper, and there’s an $18,000 fine to prove it.