South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will enact a ban on commercial trading of in-game items starting next month, the Korea Times
reports. Like the online gaming curfew
, this move is aimed at reclaiming students' time for non-game-related activities. The ban specifically targets the use of bots that allow automatic collection of items, which the ministry estimates as the source of 60 percent of items on the virtual market.
The ban also prevents arcades from handing out gift certificates for in-game items, as that has resulted in the certificates being traded for cash.
A different restriction on virtual goods was recently enacted in South Korea's neighbor, Japan: the Consumer Affairs Agency banned
the "compu gacha" scheme, in which players buy randomly selected virtual items, with bonuses for the completion of sets.