As of Monday, June 18, gaming disorder is officially recognized as a mental health condition by the World Health Organization. It’s called gaming disorder, and it’s characterized by “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior,”, or an addiction to gaming. Folks who suffer from the disorder are said to have “impaired control over gaming,” which is to say an inability to control the frequency, intensity, duration, and context of their habits. WHO also notes that those who prioritize video games over “other life interests and daily activities” and continue to escalate the amount that they play “despite the occurrence of negative consequences” are also showing symptoms of the newly classified disorder.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is created by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), has yet to recognize gaming as an official condition. However, the guide does include internet gaming disorder as a potential problem to continue monitoring for future inclusion.
South Korea’s new law is for those who hack online games in order to cheat at them, which went into effect last June, has hackers in hot water. Earlier this year, 13 Overwatch offenders were arrested, and now two have received their sentences.
According to a post from Blizzard Korea—which worked with the Seoul National Police Agency Cyber Security Department as part of a year-long investigation that began in January 2017—one of the 13 has received two years of probation from the South Korean government, and if he violates it, he’ll see jail time. The other has been fined 10 million won, or around $10,000.
No competitive game is free of cheating, but in 2016 and 2017, Overwatch had an especially nasty hacker problem in South Korea, where the proliferation of PC-focused cafes called “PC bangs” meant that cheaters could cycle between freebie accounts when they got banned. Early in 2017, Blizzard changed the rules around PC bang accounts to crack down on that practice, but there was still a bigger problem: those who created the hacks.
South Korea’s June 2017 law targets those creators—not rando players who decide it might be fun to see through walls for an afternoon. The law specifically mentions the creation of “game hacks” as well as the creation and distribution of private servers. It’s come under fire for perhaps being too broad, . Anyone found guilty can face a maximum fine of nearly $50,000 and a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Xbox Live, an online gaming service that allows people to play video games with each other without being in the same room. Since then, it’s amassed 60 million active users, and during that time, it’s become a racist and toxic environment for players of color.
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Helping students realize the dream of an esports career, the Microsoft Store’s Esports Academy, focuses on the nitty gritty of playing, but on the elements surrounding esports as a business as well. A wide array of talent from the Aussie esports scene will be on hand to teach attendees the ins-and-outs of eSports. Sessions run for three hours at a time and cover a wide array of esports related topics, giving attendees experience shoutcasting, playing as a team using games like League of Legends and Overwatch, and understanding the larger scale aspects of the esports business, with ESL Australia giving away tickets to IEM Sydney to attendees as well. Interested gamers, can register on the Microsoft site.