Wired: South Korea

In South Korea addiction to gaming has become an epidemic, with murders attributed to it and psychiatric units struggling to cope. And whilst the South binges, North Korean cyber warriors have been striking.

“Sitting in a chair for a long period of time can lead to slipped discs or the formation of blood clots, causing damage to other organs” Dr Lee Jae-Won explains, as he describes how addicted online gamers play for 4 or 5 days non-stop, before being hospitalized.

Dozens of killings have been attributed to online gaming and babies have been left to die by their addicted parents. Surprisingly, that’s not the only thing South Korea has to fear from the internet. North Korea have developed a sophisticated capacity to infiltrate the South’s computer networks.

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  • Brevan

    6/10
    – First 10 minutes discuss gaming culture, from the few sports stars that exist to a few cases where addiction has caused crimes such as criminal negligence. It seems alright to me that they examine the most extreme cases.
    – They briefly mention some of the medical research on psychology. It’s mentioned as research related to treating addiction, but the example named uses trans-cranial magnetic stimulation. As a psych student, I’m not aware of any research using that stimulation that is related to treatment. Last I heard (2008), the research is still investigating whether there are any harmful side effects to such strong bursts of magnetic stimulation.
    – The last 13 minutes focus on the war and espionage with North Korea, but rather than investigate how the internet is affecting this, they show examples such as war rallies with burning effigies. They discuss in depth the assassination attempt on a political figure that used non-technological means. They mention some of the abuses, such as starvation, by North Korea against its people.
    – Morals of the story: Addiction is bad, even if it’s from video games rather than the many other forms available. War is bad. North Korea is bad.
    – If you already agree with those morals, then the show does not offer much.

  • ederogalle

    its an intresting 20 minutes, but gaming addiction, cyberwar and north korea in 20 minutes?

  • judyk

    I wish they had been a little more focused about topic… so much more needed to have been said about the gaming addiction. But instead it tried to be a documentary about too many things in too little time. All very interesting though.

  • make it up as you go along

    Em, well. Judging by the methods they use to measure EEG, I’d be as well taking a dump in a bucket and calling it a result. Let’s take this nonsense with a factory full of salt, please.

  • Seoulite

    sensational drivel full of factual errors.
    Lim Yo Hwan is indeed a pioneer and legendary player, but he hasn’t been winning games for several years in a row. Kim Ga Yeon one of Korea’s most famous movie stars? don’t make me laugh…
    Even if it’s bigger than in other countries, eSports is definitely not as popular as this reportage claims to be.
    Starting with a piece on eSports, and immediately making the connection with game-addiction…how original.
    everything in this piece is spiced up to make it more sensational. very questionable journalistic approach…

  • Damnight

    You can´t actually discuss this dokumentary because it´s just outright bad. 1st of all the factual errors, 2nd you could draw a line between addiction and passion, but they don´t!

  • Jeff

    Terrible documentary. As an Australian I’m ashamed we made this crap. Full of sensationalist claims and dodgy statistics.

    “1 in 4 South Korean teenagers don’t know when to pull the plug.”

    What does that even mean? That’s not a quantitative statistic.
    It also started talking about North Korea because apparently all we know about South Korea is that they don’t get on with the North.

    Too bad this is the only documentary on this site about South Korea. They have such a fascinating culture and lovely people.