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TIGSource ForumsPlayerGamesThe Korean indie gaming scene is being trampled on by Korean law
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Author Topic: The Korean indie gaming scene is being trampled on by Korean law  (Read 23256 times)
Christian Knudsen
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« Reply #40 on: September 05, 2010, 04:02:48 AM »

- Even if game is NOT doing service inside Korean territory, must be rated!

Webgames as O-game / Travian / Tribal Wars were BLOCKED from Korea, because they had Korean language service. Their server was NOT in Korea, their payment system was NOT in Korea, but GRB blocked them all. (For Tribal Wars, got Korean publisher & rated and re-opened by them.) And due to that, GRB now attacks even Steam by Valve!

That's positively insane! Crazy
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« Reply #41 on: September 05, 2010, 05:44:14 AM »

Still, I think and hope (at least for now, short of a better solution), that the South Korean Government doesn't have the resources to block out / attack EVERYTHING.

What if everyone flooded their submission process?  I don't know how it works, but if it's an email system...
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Silbereisen
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« Reply #42 on: September 05, 2010, 06:31:20 AM »

So effectively, they're trying to ban all non-Korean and/or free games, did I get that right?  Is there some kind of lobbyism involved or something?  Epileptic
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Parthon
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« Reply #43 on: September 05, 2010, 08:05:13 AM »

They are doing it to make money.

At up to $700us per game, that's quite a cash cow. They are squeezing the one they think they can get money out of, even if the Korean game market suffers.

It's sad that they want to destroy an entire industry under the guise of protecting the populace just to get a bit of pocket change. I swear government-backed ratings boards are the worst of the worst.

And there's nothing we can do aside from pull our games and let the country rot in their stupidity. Encouraging Korean games sites to do articles and emailing their MPs about it might help. You have to go around the rating board to be heard. If we could get someone like Blizzard to pull their games sales, that would be a start, but no company would want the lost sales.
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György Straub
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« Reply #44 on: September 05, 2010, 08:55:32 AM »

So effectively, they're trying to ban all non-Korean and/or free games, did I get that right?  Is there some kind of lobbyism involved or something?  Epileptic

No, they're trying to 'tax' ALL games going public in South Korea, Korean or non-, freeware or non-.
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« Reply #45 on: September 05, 2010, 09:49:16 AM »

well this just sucks ballz. maybe for a big company paying 70-100$ per game is not that bad (considering they sell millions of copys 100 bucks is nothing) but for indie and freeware developers is shit. what they're trying to do is telling to the people "WE ONLY ALLOW $$$$$ GAMES. YOU AND YOUR FREE GAMES GTFO." and that isn't good. that's my opinion, but i still got a question that i think is what everyone wants to know: if Tigsource host the games, will the Korean people be able to download them?
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« Reply #46 on: September 05, 2010, 09:53:53 AM »

From what I undestand, they will, until the site is blocked. But they can take this approach only so far before S. Koreans in general become enraged at the censorship going on online.
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Christian Knudsen
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« Reply #47 on: September 05, 2010, 10:08:23 AM »

As far as I understand it, they could block TIGSource right now, since we're supplying games that haven't been rated to South Koreans.
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« Reply #48 on: September 05, 2010, 10:48:47 AM »

Blocking entire websites is probably not a simple thing to do. Which is why they're targetting Steam, which is a highly concentrated pool of possible money for them to make in low-quality game ratings. I doubt they'll target TIGS unless we start having hundreds of games more.
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« Reply #49 on: September 05, 2010, 11:25:38 AM »

I heartily support tigsources efforts against this. Its ridiculous trying to rate and control all the games ever published in a country, especially with the size and variance of the internet, its absurd.

I wish I could do something, and I really hope that larger publishers/developers like valve will lobby against this.
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Geri
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« Reply #50 on: September 05, 2010, 01:02:19 PM »

Hi Koreans!

This law is terrible. You all should shot your politicans into the water, and tortrue them until they move. Shame that koreans are too peacefull peoples.

So. If some korean gamedev community leaders are here, pick me up on skype: geri_lgfx
maybee i can try to get some server and domain name for your community temporrally, where you can you run your portal engine and can upload your stuffs somehow. Or at least to upload them.

greetings

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« Reply #51 on: September 05, 2010, 03:16:47 PM »

Hmm, I dunno what legit game distributors are gonna do.  As for us, I don't think it'll matter in the long run.  I somehow doubt the KRB is gonna be banning access to this site or any other if it's small.

And if they do, there's always something like Tor.  The only thing that really hurts is korean indie devs are gonna have trouble circumventing the law, which is a shame since they do some decent work every now and again.

Hmmm...nothing legal comes to mind.  I'm a bit surprised by this kerfuffle (wow really, the auto-spell-check isn't having a fit?), considering how forward-thinking the S.Koreans are about the internet in general.

Strange.
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« Reply #52 on: September 05, 2010, 04:42:53 PM »

Shocking stuff, particularly coming from a country which I'd been led to believe was pretty enlightened and cutting-edge when it comes to the internet.

Aside from raising awareness, it seems like the most effective thing to do would be to find a way to demonstrate to the GRB (and ideally to the Korean public) that the policy is completely unsustainable. Generally it seems to be the way that things work, when a country wants to enfore a heavy-handed law to police (read: censor) perfectly innocent parts of the internet, The Internet (that's all of us guys) points out just how much Internet is out there, and just how impossible it is to police all that content, and often the enforcement bedgrudgingly admits defeat and slinks off into the night. Examples:

- Viacom (and other corporate copyright holders in the US) trying and failing to overturn the "Safe Harbour" provision in the DMCA by demanding that an actual human lawyer watches every uploaded YouTube video before allowing it.

- Australia attempting to set up an Internet "blacklist" of sites to block, which presumably would have to contain every porn site ever (and in reality contains only a tiny fraction of them, along with a totally random selection of other sites)

- Various countries, particularly in Europe, attempting to implement the "3 strikes" copyright law, which have been hampered on grounds of such laws being unconstitutional, not to mention the ISPs pointing out that them having to bear the financial burden of policing such a system would render their businesses impossible to operate profitably.

- China trying to work out how to deal with a company like Google, who will pull every trick in the book to operate within the letter of Chinese law whilst still allowing the Chinese people a way to access unfiltered and uncensored search results.

Some of those fights are still ongoing, but all of them serve to demonstrate to the parties involved that such widespread policing is completely impractical. You can't stop the signal. Trying to rate (or ban) every freeware game which is put out on the web, regardless of the country of origin, is simple impossible.

So... How can we demonstrate this to the GRB? How could we flood them with information about every game that exists on the web until they realise it's impossible to cope with the number of submissions, let alone actually expend the time and effort to either charge each game for a rating or block it? And how can we help let the people of South Korea know about what a stupidly impossible (and impossibly stupid) task the GRB have taken on?
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« Reply #53 on: September 05, 2010, 06:41:49 PM »

Quote
- Even if game is NOT doing service inside Korean territory, must be rated!

Webgames as O-game / Travian / Tribal Wars were BLOCKED from Korea, because they had Korean language service. Their server was NOT in Korea, their payment system was NOT in Korea, but GRB blocked them all. (For Tribal Wars, got Korean publisher & rated and re-opened by them.) And due to that, GRB now attacks even Steam by Valve!

What do you mean by 'blocked'? Are ISPs forced to block sites based on blacklists, or...?
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Sun
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« Reply #54 on: September 05, 2010, 07:42:27 PM »

Quote
- Even if game is NOT doing service inside Korean territory, must be rated!

Webgames as O-game / Travian / Tribal Wars were BLOCKED from Korea, because they had Korean language service. Their server was NOT in Korea, their payment system was NOT in Korea, but GRB blocked them all. (For Tribal Wars, got Korean publisher & rated and re-opened by them.) And due to that, GRB now attacks even Steam by Valve!

What do you mean by 'blocked'? Are ISPs forced to block sites based on blacklists, or...?

Yes, GRB can request Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) to do it. KCSC controls ISPs. KCSC also block illegal porns and North Korean-related sites with unrated games.
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Sun B. Kim
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« Reply #55 on: September 06, 2010, 12:34:56 PM »

hey, this is probably old news but kotaku has noticed this; but only in the sense that steam might be banned:

http://kotaku.com/5630828/report-korea-might-ban-steam

EDIT:

oops, I dun goofed. I read to the end and realised it linked back to tigsource, where it got the story from. Ah well.  Facepalm
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« Reply #56 on: September 06, 2010, 05:26:58 PM »

My opinion might be moot because I'm an asshole but I've been to South Korea three or four times if I remember correctly. In my brief visits there, I observed the consequences of centuries of a society under the malignant oppression of constant warfare; South Koreans in general are very disciplined, routine-oriented and have a somewhat militaristic slant on almost everything they do. Whether or not they have been fighting North Korea, Japan or a bunch of warlods, it's been going on for quite a while. That's why they like Starcraft and extremely slowly progressing and grinding MMORPG games so much.

Anyway, practically speaking, when I have been in South Korea I noticed that there is no long grass anywhere, barely any garbage on the ground and that South Koreans are generally speaking very conformist. I saw literally no "alternative" people there like you do in whatever shit hole you live in. Everyone is neat and tidy, wears clothes that look like they bought at Korean Wallmart and listens to pop music. It's kind of a misanthrope's worst nightmare; it is like walking through a country where all of the people have been manufactured at some factory. The irony is that most of them do work at factories where they make video cards or something.

The point of this is that it will probably be very difficult to get this law changed because the sort of creative expression that South Korean independent game designers indulge in is not a value held in very high esteem over there. In Western countries we like to think we are awesome because we are allowed to speak freely, be creative and fuck the government if we want to. I'm not to sure about South Korean law, but they do not appreciate their freedom the same way a country like America does. The only Western value that South Korean's indulge in is buying lots of crap, and on that note they are extremely wealthy.

Since independent gamers tend to live in their parent's basement and use their dad's credit card, I don't think the South Korean government is going to give a shit, and especially since indies tend to be alternative weirdos and South Koreans hate those guys which probably gives them a good reason to stay in the basement.
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mrkwang
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« Reply #57 on: September 06, 2010, 09:02:59 PM »

I announced performance of "NOT rated by GRB, so you can't play" for Korean local people.

http://pig-min.com/tt/3116 (Korean language only.)

I might ask assists from abroad (like you!).
However I must write information in English before proceed that.

Thanks.
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Mipe
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« Reply #58 on: September 07, 2010, 06:18:21 AM »

Sheesh, at this rate North Korea will be more liberal than its southern counterpart...
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« Reply #59 on: September 08, 2010, 02:24:59 AM »

Well, I've been reading this news for the past few days, and as a Korean living outside of S.Korea, I'm feeling a mix of emotions going inside me.

I definitely feel sorry for the poor indie devs in Korea, just wanting to add some creativity to this world.

And I definitely think it's pretty ridiculous what they're enforcing, and who they're enforcing it to. I mean, this is a country where celebrities and what-not are committing suicide because of the harsh comments the people are leaving on their personal blogs/websites. I'm sure there are much more harmful things that people are writing/creating, at this very moment, than any indie game dev could ever create. But alas, laws and organizations don't work that way.

Then, I think it's funny and sad regarding the details of this rating system. I hear on the news that the Korean president is promoting the game industry to become more creative and all, and I see this rating system basically saying "unless you're working with the proper group of people, don't bother making games."

But on the other hand, I feel that Korean people (gamers) might have brought this upon themselves (well, I guess it's the poor devs that are suffering instead). The whole reason why these people are all going Jack Thompson over there are because many Koreans (and I guess the Chinese are also learning to do the same) have major problems controlling their gaming habits. I mean, we've got people dying in game cafes for playing too long, and parents starving their infant child to death because they were busy feeding their virtual pet inside some mmo (true story). But as I said, it seems like the wrong group of people are suffering for this.

And ultimately, I just feel rather upset in the stomach hearing all this news about my home country. Let's just hope we find a solution for all this.

(I'm not really aware as to how many Korean TIGers are out there, but if somebody needs a Korean-English speaker, I'd be happy to volunteer to help out with communication/information issues.)
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