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South Korea’s lost generation of gamers offer a preview of what’s to come

South Korea is bending beneath the load of an epidemic. In the world’s most wired nation, it’s not opioids or hallucinogens to blame, however the fixed name of a related society.

Estimates fluctuate, however South Korea — dwelling to 51 million individuals — now has about a million internet-addicted kids and teenagers. About one in 10. Some name the estimate conservative, claiming the precise quantity is nearer to 50 %, or 5 million individuals aged 10 to 19. In an interview with Vice, Dr. Lee Jae-Won, a neuropsychiatrist at Gagnam Eulji Hospital in Seoul stated that on-line gaming accounts for roughly 90 % of these web habit instances.

In this small nation — a contact smaller than the state of Virginia — the market is ready to surpass 12 trillion gained ($11 billion USD) in some unspecified time in the future subsequent yr. That’s about a third the scale of the US gaming market — a nation six occasions bigger.

Korea’s drawback, although, will at some point be the US’ drawback. And with out the foresight that comes with figuring out and planning for it, the US could possibly be in for a world of damage.

The concern, maybe, is one of availability. Koreans can’t stroll greater than a few blocks with out working into one of greater than 20,000 “PC bangs,” the gaming equal of an opium den, with exhausting medicine changed by networked PCs, melodic Okay-Pop, and a dying lure of criss-crossing Ethernet cables. This, in Korea, is the popular technique of gaming. And for about a greenback an hour, gamers can plug in and play, LAN-style, to their hearts’ content material.

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