Game addicts in Korea may be excluded from military service

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

A recent news report says that South Korean game addicts could be made exempt from mandatory military service. Because of the extreme amount of citizens that struggle with game addiction, the country is in the midst of debating a law that tackles the issue. Even though no one has yet qualified for this exemption, the policy amendment made by South Korea’s Military Manpower Administration in 2010 excuses video game addicts from their mandatory military service.

Male South Korean citizens (ages 18 to 35) are required to perform military service. Citing the “Regulations Relating to the Discharge of Military Public Service”, CNET reported that exemption from military service can be granted if the person has "received six or more months of treatment for alcohol, drug, or video game addiction and has demonstrated ineptitude of carrying out normal duties." (1)

South Korean lawmakers have been attempting to classify video game addiction in the same categories of drug and alcohol addiction and they claim that the government needs to take control of the problem by setting gaming curfews.   Critics believe that gaming should not be classified with these other addictions and that sanctioning the use of games violates freedom. 

If an individual is truly addicted to games, this can be debilitating to their regular life and they are likely suffering, unable to complete daily tasks well such as school or work. So, South Korea’s idea to keep them away from military service may be for their own safety as well as the safety of its surrounding citizens. Do you believe that South Korea should be able to exclude males classified as addicted gamers from military service? 


 1. “South Korea’s Video Game Addicts May Be Exempt From Military Service.”  Published online July 21, 2014. Accessed July 21, 2014.