Killing in the game of …

A sad story: according to a Dutch newspaper a youngster in South Korea killed his mother over complaining about him being addicted to playing computer games. Then he killed himself. This is another case in an increasing strain of cases involving gaming addiction.

A similar case occurred early 2010 when a man killed his mother over her constant nagging about his computer gaming. Also early 2010, a couple’s baby starved to death because its parents were too busy raising a virtual baby online, according to the Korea Times. This has led to the South Korean government announcing action to curtail people playing computer games or surfing the Internet. Whether this action already took place, I doubt it. I’d be interested to learn about its effectiveness.

Although this seems to make computer gaming a suspect activity, there are millions of people that do not have these problems. Most likely there are some predispositions that make some people more susceptible to acquiring addictions. Anyhow, these cases attract a lot of media attention but maybe statistically not that different from deaths involving watching television or driving a car. Mind you, it is still very sad when people decide to resolve a conflict in the most physical way there is.

I’m not an expert on this matter of addiction. However in the Netherlands you have Jeroen Jansz and Jeroen Lemmens as experts.

Insight into the North Korean neighbor up north

While preparing for my journey to South Korea I stumbled upon the documentary Welcome to North Korea directed by Dutch filmmakers Peter Tetteroo and Raymond Feddema and winner of an Emmy Award.

It´s astonishing how the North Korean government succeeded to keep foreign media out of their country, apparently the only way to sustain the power balance as it exists now. Apparently, the first fast food restaurant was opened. At the same time Kim Jong-il’s health seems to be deteriorating. Inthe event of his death, one of his sons is likely to be successor. Lastly, the North Koreans want to restart negatiations on stopping their nuclear program.  Maybe these changes may lead to a relaxation of the tensed relations of North Korea with the rest of the world.

Anyhow, watch the open source documentary hosted by www.archive.org. It’s not a Internet bite size length documentary but a lengthy 53 minute one. So sit down and relax.

A peek into our future?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ll be traveling to South Korea in a few weeks. For a quick impression what the “most wired place in the world” entails watch the following video on the Internet, gaming and addiction.

When you follow this link you’ll also find some links to some general and web statistics. For instance, apparently 43% of all Koreans maintain a weblog. South Korea has about 20,000 PC Bangs, Internet cafés. My infrequent experience with Internet cafes are abroad to check upon email. These PC Bangs however are predominantly used to play games. In the Netherlands there are so-called LAN parties where gamers meet to play. Apparently the popularity seems to decrease as broadband Internet access becomes cheaper.

Furthermore, the Korea Communications Commission is planning to boost wireless Internet up to 10 Mbps and connected Internet services to 1 Gbps. This also provides a better HDTV image. In the Netherlands the fastest regular Internet connection you can subscribe to is 120 Mbps and HDTV is just beginning to get adopted.