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Last Updated: Friday, 28 December 2007, 13:19 GMT
South Korean gamers
Poster of programmer pin-ups
Crossing Continents
Thursday, 3 January 2008
At 1102 GMT on BBC Radio 4

South Korea is the world's most "wired" country with around 70 per cent of the population hooked up to a high speed internet connection. This reality has spawned a whole new type of sportsman: the "e athlete".

Professional computer gamers can now earn hundreds of thousands of dollars playing to packed audiences.

However, a 2006 government survey suggested addiction to computer gaming is a significant and growing problem: ten people have actually died after exceptionally long stints in front of the computer screen.

Julian Pettifer investigates the extent of this addiction in Korea - and asks how the Korean government is persuading young people to turn off their computer screens.

BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents will be broadcast on Thursday, 3 January 2008 at 1102 GMT. It will be repeated on Monday, 7 January 2008 at 2030 GMT.

Reporter: Julian Pettifer
Producer: Lucy Ash

Crossing Continents


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