- By Peter Williams Peter Williams is an editorial researcher at FP.
Data rockets across South Korea’s broadband network at an average clip of 14.58 megabits per second. This makes the country’s network the fastest of any in the world. (In comparison, the average American broadband connection chugs along at a sluggish 3.88 megabits per second, almost four times slower than what you’d find in Seoul.)
While South Koreans have been quick to embrace the many benefits fast broadband internet connections provide, increased use of a quicker, more efficient internet has brought with it new problems for South Korean society. Chief among such problems is an addiction to internet video games. According to a Washington Post article, in 2006, approximately 2.4 percent of 9 to 39-year-olds in South Korea suffered from full-blown addiction; another 10.2 percent were classified as borderline addicts.
Apparently the situation has only gotten worse. In 2005, a South Korean man died after a marathon 50-hour video game session, and in March, 2010, a South Korean couple allowed their three-month old baby to starve to death while they were occupied playing an on-line video game. In response, the Korean government has begun experimenting with a teenage video game curfew that will block young gamers’ access to 20 different popular on-line role-playing games (RPGs) for 6 hours a day, every day.
Whatever happened to the good old days of underage drinking and loitering?
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.| Passport |