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Oddly Enough - Korean ring of purity

Pity the poor, average South Korean school pupil. More tested than children in Britain, the only respite they may take after school can be a quick game in the nearest arcade before starting their homework. Now even this fun is under threat.

The ministry of education has decreed that any establishment furnishing mini-arcade machines, claw crane games that dispense toys and sweets, betting games, "morally toxic games", and the like should have them removed if they are within 50 metres of a school.

This is known as the "fully purified area" where all entertainment machines are banned.

Another 200m has been demarcated as a "partly purified area", where the ministry will decide if such arcades pose a threat to "academic excellence, safety or hygiene".

Perhaps the ministry has not heard of "legs" and how they may be used to carry the owner over 200m in a matter of minutes.

However, the ministry is acting with some knowledge on how computer games are adversely affecting some children. Addiction to games and the internet has alarmed the authorities so much that they have set up boot camps to wean young people off ruinous gaming habits.

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