Posted : 2010-03-15 17:46
Updated : 2010-03-15 17:46

Seoul to Combat Internet Addiction

By Kang Hyun-kyung
Staff Reporter

From next year, gamers and other Internet addicts will be able to install free software programs into their laptops to limit their access time to the Internet, the Office of the Prime Minister said Monday.

The plan was unveiled following the increase in addicts here, which, according to the government, has reached approximately 2 million. However, industry experts say the real figure is much higher.

The government will make available two types of software aimed at limiting bloggers' hours online - a consensual shut-down program and Internet Fatigue, a program designed to make gamers become bored as time goes by.

Under the consensual shut-down program, bloggers can set the days or hours they can access the Internet.

Under the "i-ACTION 2012," an inter-ministry team led by the Ministry of Public Administration and Security came up with a set of measures to fight the rise of Internet addicts. The term ACTION stands for Attention, Counseling, Training, Institution, Outcome and Networks.

The government will put a priority on preventive measures. Those addicted to the Internet will be advised to take advantage of government-sponsored educational programs and counseling services.

The team will launch educational schemes for approximately 10 million people. About 300,000 Internet users will be invited for tailored counseling services which will create some 10,000 jobs. .

Eo Gee-jun, president of the Korea Computer Life Institute, told The Korea Times that three out of 10 adults are addicted gamers, while the number of addicted teenage gamers is slightly lower at 26 percent.

"Children start to play Internet games when they become fourth or fifth graders. They tend to be more attached to them as they grow up. Teenagers are under the control of their parents at home and are discouraged from accessing the Internet for long hours," he said.

"Addicted adult gamers outnumber their teenager counterparts because the former are no longer under control of their parents."

The local online game market is worth approximately 1.5 trillion won.

Internet addiction has been addressed as a major social problem.

Recently, a couple who were addicted to online games, stunned the nation as their negligence resulted in their baby starving to death.

Police said the husband and wife spent 12 hours or more playing online games at a nearby PC room and rarely fed their baby, which led to her death.

정부 `인터넷 중독' 퇴치 선언

총리실은 월요일 내년부터 게이머나 그 밖의 인터넷 중독자들에게 인터넷 접속 시간을 제한하는 소프트웨어를 무료로 랩탑 컴퓨터에 설치토록 할 계획이라고 밝혔다.

이 같은 인터넷 중독 퇴치 계획은 200만 명에 달하는 사람들이 인터넷 중독으로 고통을 겪고 있는데 따른 것이다.

정부는 i-ACTION 2012로 명명된 전략에 따라 행정안전부 주도로 관련부처 공무원들로 이루어진 팀을 구성, 인터넷 중독 퇴치를 위한 조치들을 발표했다.

ACTION은 주의 사전인지적 예방교육(Attention), 상담강화(Counseling), 전문인력 확대(Training), 법제도 개선(Institution), 정책 효과성 개선(Outcome), 민간 협력네트워크 확산(Network)의 머리 글자를 뜻하는 6개 정책 과제로 정부가 인터넷 역기능 퇴치에 초점을 맞추고 있음을 보여준다.

정부는 인터넷 접속시간을 제한하기 위해 두 종류의 소프트웨어 프로그램을 배포할 계획이다. 하나는 합의하의 정지 프로그램이고, 다른 하나는 시간이 지나면 게이머들을 싫증나게 만드는 `인터넷 피로' 프로그램이다. 합의하의 정지 프로그램에서는 브로거들이 인터넷에 접속할 장소에서 날짜와 시간을 맞춰놓을 수 있다.

정부는 예방조치에 우선 순위를 두었다. 인터넷에 중독된 사람들은 정부 후원의 교육 프로그램과 상담 서비스를 받도록 하고 있다.
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