South Korean video game addicts may qualify for miltary exemption
Is video game addiction severe enough to cause an exemption from military service? According to some South Korean lawmakers, it's a very real possibility.
Over the last few months, South Korean legislators have been debating the Video Game Addiction Bill, which aims to classify video games as an addictive vice along the same lines as drugs and alcohol. During this debate, a 2010 policy amendment that potentially allows an exemption for video game addicts has come to light. The amendment, part of the "Regulations Relating to the Discharge of Military Public Service" established by the Military Manpower Administration, allows a man to seek an exemption from mandatory military service if he has "received six or more months of treatment for alcohol, drug, or video game addiction and has demonstrated ineptitude of carrying out normal duties."
While this exemption has been in place since 2010, the Military Manpower Administration reports that no one has qualified for an exemption thus far. Even if men seek this exemption, they have to undergo additional physical and psychological testing before being exempt from military service. If the Video Game Addiction Bill passes, however, it may make it easier for people to use this amendment.
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Video Game Addiction is a serious problem in South Korea, and the Video Game Addiction Bill is just the most recent in a series of laws aimed at curbing the issue. Laws enacted in 2011 and 2012 already place a curfew on players under the age of 16 and limit players under the age of 18 to a certain number of hours each day.
What do you think of this exemption? Is it an unfair exception, or will it help address the issue of video game addiction? Comment below!