South Korea bans virtual item trades

The government of South Korea has enacted a ban on the trade of virtual items, in an effort to curb gold farming and the Diablo 3 Auction House. The law imposes a 50 million won (approximately $43,000) fine and a maximum of five years in jail. They really don't mess around.

The Korea Times (via Eurogamer) reports that the new law will go into effect next month. Kim Kap-soo, head of The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism's content policy division, says that games should be used for entertainment and academic purposes, and that in-game trading is a "serious hindrance" to "healthy game culture."

Diablo III previously faced problems in Korea due to the auction house, and this one move stamps out the possibility of future features like it in the country. It also takes care of gold farming bots by banning programs that "allow in-game characters to hunt and collect items without the need of a player controlling them."