Since 2007, by Game Industry Promotion Act and its implementing decree, S. Koreans should not do business for exchanging or mediating exchanges of, and repurchasing in-game money or data like in-game items that are produced or obtained by copying, adapting, and hacking the game program or by way of abnormal game-play.
The word of 'by way of abnormal game-play' has been generally understood as 'using Bots in game', and many sweatshop owners and RMT dealers who broke the law were punished.
On the other hand, Supreme Court of S. Korea ruled that RMT itself is not totally banned by this act in the sphere of MMORPGs where in-game items are basically obtained by sweat, not by luck. So, RMT dealers can buy and sell in-game items as far as those are produced and obtained by normal play.
In summary - human play : normal(OK) vs. Bot play : abnormal(banned).
But, practically, it's not that easy to tell Bot play from human play. Korean government have been worrying about the growth of the grey market of RMT and the crime related to this. Government agency assumes that 60% of RMT in korea were unhealthy one.
To cope with this matter, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism just now amended the implementing decree. Next july, the revised implementing decree will be effective. This time, Korean government enlarges the scope/depth of the word 'abnormal'.
Using the others personal information & Doing for a business also belong to the scope of 'abnormal'.
In summary - amateur play : normal vs. pro play : abnormal
(Probably the first 21th century law that is Johan Huizinga's Magic Circle graven on)
According to korean Value Added Tax act, anybody who supplies goods or services for business and earns more than 12,000,000 won in 6 months should register as "enterpreneur". Enterpreneur shall be liable to pay VAT. This new Implementing Decree do not permit game player be the enterpreneur of VAT act.
This is the end of my brief introduction to the new game law of S. Korea on RMT.
For me, it seems somewhat odd and interesting that Korea recently enacted another law called E-sports Promotion Act. The definition of E-sports is 'through the medium of games, human compete for the record, or win the game against human'. Of course, Main purpose of this act is to assist pro-gamer who play StarCraft, Dungeon & Fighter etc for a living.
Earning REAL money from the inferno be banned, while from the space is not.
Former relating posts.
There's a question i've been thinking but i couldn't say for sure...
Imagine two players, one has a stable job and plays 4 hours a day. The other doesn't have a job and plays 10 hours a day. Player one would never catch up to player two. If the "fun" of the game is "fair competition", then player one would not find fun at all. Then the game offers player one RMT so that he can catch up by paying real money. Is that then unfair to player two?
What if after player one get geared up from paying real money, and the fight with player two is still a determined by skill not gear. Both of them share the fun. is there still an unfairness happening?
Posted Jun 20, 2012 3:34:07 AM | link
Unggi, thanks for the clarification! Very interesting post!
Posted Jun 20, 2012 11:38:47 AM | link
Rits>Both of them share the fun
No, not necessarily. The player who has 10 hours to play in part gets fun from the fact that they're ahead of everyone else.
Repeating some old arguments about RMT:
1) If it causes no problems to the game to allow people to pay to play on a level playing field, why not give it for free? The game can give "fair competition" without requiring that people pay for it. Making people pay is unfair on those who can't pay but who are still left behind.
2) If someone plays for 10 hours a day, they may still not be as geared as someone who plays 2 hours a day but buys gear for real money. They may get beaten by someone less skilled but more geared than they are. That, in their mind, would be unfair.
3) The person who plays for 10 hours may be wealthy. Poor people often have less time than richer people, because they have to hold down several jobs at once to make ends meet. If you allow RMT, this person could out-RMT you to have better gear in addition to whatever stuff they get for playing so much. Now do you think it's fair?
4) Some people don't like the interference with the magic circle that RMT brings in. They explicitly want to play an MMO that does NOT have RMT. They could be Bill Gates, well able to buy the entire MMO. Should they not be able to stop people from engaging in RMT if they don't want it to happen in their MMO?
5) Those Olympic sprinters spend 10 hours a day training. I'm a busy person, I can only spent 2 hours a day training. Can't I buy a 2-metre start in the 100m final at the Olympics? Or maybe let me use rollerblades or a skateboard? Victory will still be determined by skill. The runner will share in the fun of the race with me.
Posted Jun 23, 2012 7:41:40 AM | link
Richard > thanks for the reply. i gave a bit more thought to it, but i'm still not sure.
The arguments are based on the assumption that win or lose is based on gears not skills. If you started playing mmo since everquest and you have developed transferable PvP skills with your team, but nowadays you have stable jobs you can't afford to lose; but nowadays the games are all about endless grinding for gears to determine who deserves the title of champion... is that really a virtual world we desire?
what about an ideal world where the people with time can grind items, then sell to those who have less time to play in exchange of some real money to buy a coffee and pay for high speed internet to sustain the grinding. ultimately both party can have a good time to compete in skill not gear. how about that ideal reality?
Professor Castronova mentioned in his TED talk about our attitude towards MMO. "Escape" is not the best word but we do get the idea that virtual world is a "refuge" from the life-draining real world. Which means MMOs are good because they fulfill our desired reality. Part of which, I think, is major for many gamers is that in the real world sometimes we just don't get the reward we think we deserve. So my question boils down to what gamer think "deserve" means. A grinder would say "I deserve to be the top because I devoted more time to the game". An elite PvPer may argue "I can play less hours to know how to maximize my performance with minimal resource investment, so I deserve to be the top".
Does that make sense?
Posted Jun 23, 2012 4:30:30 PM | link
Rits>The arguments are based on the assumption that win or lose is based on gears not skills.
If win or lose is not based on gear, then gear is just cosmetic. Most achiever types would be fine with that. If gear can have the slightest effect, though, that makes a difference.
>is that really a virtual world we desire?
What does that have to do with it? If enough people do desire it, and the designers are happy to give it to them, shouldn't they get to play irrespective of what you or I want?
>what about an ideal world where the people with time can grind items, then sell to those who have less time to play in exchange of some real money to buy a coffee and pay for high speed internet to sustain the grinding.
What's ideal about that? Really, tell me why this is in any sense "ideal".
>ultimately both party can have a good time to compete in skill not gear.
Grinding is having a good time?
You are making a number of dubious assumptions here:
1) You assume that [eople who have lots of time to spend in MMOs are poor. They may well be rich - that's why they have so much spare time.
2) You assume that competing on the basis of skill alone is regarded by all concerned as being fun. If this really were the case, people with superior gear would take some of it off to balance things up. Furthermore, some people regard the skills needed to acquire gear as part of the skill you need to compete.
3) You assume that gear can't be bought that exceeds what people with a lot of time can get on their own. It can. If you're rich, you can pay to out-gear the dedicated 10-hour player.
4) You assume that people don't care when the real world (in the form of money) breaks into the virtual world. Some do indeed care. They want to play in a separate world, not a mere extension of the real world.
>my question boils down to what gamer think "deserve" means.
This only works for gamers who have such an inflated sense of entitlement.
>A grinder would say "I deserve to be the top because I devoted more time to the game". An elite PvPer may argue "I can play less hours to know how to maximize my performance with minimal resource investment, so I deserve to be the top".
Go back to the Olympic analogy. Is a runner who has superior race tactics but doesn't train going to be allowed to take performance-enhancing drugs to make up for the fact that they didn't train?
>Does that make sense?
If gear really and truly makes no difference, then developers could give it away for free. You could go to a replicator like in Star Trek, tell it what gear you wanted, then press the button and it would appear. There would be no need for anyone to grind to get it, they could just get whatever they wanted at any time. Now tell me why this makes no sense but your grind-then-sell system does make sense.
Posted Jun 25, 2012 7:00:16 AM | link
I don't think your Olympic example is a fair comparison, and it shows why you're misunderstanding my point. Why is skilled player who needs less time to spend on practising is drug user? Why is that cheating? He studies his results after he practice a run every time, where as some other person blindly spend time on the track field not reflecting on the results. But of course, one who has an unwavering will power to just practice things over and over again should gain improvement. so they both have their own way to grow in this sport, and then they compete. Brain effort VS body effort, why is it not fair?
It's not "gears don't matter" it is "gears not the sole factor".
Some MMOs like Guild Wars 2 is promoting the idea that gears affect your customized play style the most, and win or lose depends on you and your team figuring out the best combination of these play style. Time needed? Yes, to use wisdom to figure out and get use to the execution. These are more of a skill matter, and is transferable between games.
Think about more games, why is there exp fatigue or rested exp systems? Game companies are discouraging grinding. As you have said, "If enough people do desire it, and the designers are happy to give it to them", so what is the message we're getting?
And if "people's desire convinces designer's decisions" is true, Blizzard with the biggest MMO population decided to put official RMT in D3, what does that say?
But then, I don't even believe in that, haha! Companies make bad decisions. People dwell onto shallow desires and don't have a future vision. And that is why our ideals matter; assuming that we here are sophisticated intellectuals, we discuss about the better tomorrow for the people that even themselves would disagree today.
>If gear can have the slightest effect, though, that makes a difference.
Yes, gears can make a difference. Some one pay to out gear me or some one having more time to out gear, either way I would be playing this game with disadvantage. Like you said, "some people are rich, that's why they have time to grind", yes, then those people pwn me because they have money. They pwn me with money to get gear VS they pwn me with money to get time, difference? The ideal I've been suggesting is one that gear makes a difference but not the dominant factor. I have disadvantage but that is fair, because even in sports like basketball, some people are taller and more muscular than I am, but I can still enjoy the game with my skills, can't I?
RMT or not, rich would still have advantage in gears, as you have reminded us. But what I'm trying to remind you is potential better world where skills can compensate the lack of gears so that everyone has access to "fun" in whatever achievement that involves competition. Yet, if that's the ideal, then allowing RMT is a further balancing mechanism because those who belong to "poor" and "skilled and smart in grinding gears" are offered flexibility. Also those who are "poor" and "no time to play" but "skilled in performance" are granted flexibility in another way. Hence, if the system has a good balance point between "gears" and "skills" factor, then RMT would help those who are "poor".
Posted Jun 25, 2012 4:23:50 PM | link