NCsoft and Social Responsibility

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NCsoft and Social Responsibility

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:39 pm

This is the last forum I want to hear everybody's opinion on!! Thanks again for everyone who has given some input on the various issues raised so far- it has really helped me gain a better understanding of a company I have devoted a lot of time to, and who I hope will be able to continue providing joy as I continue to game. 

I wanted to get everyone's opinion on Social Responsibility. As a gamer, it pains me to know that there is such a negative stigma associated with gaming. Whether it be through the countless stories of people becoming addicted or having their identities stolen and compromised online, or through the illegal cash trading of in-game items, people don't think very highly of gaming. In fact, looking at NCsoft specifically, they were implicated in a relatively big scandal fairly recently. In 2006, it is believed that they may have "permitted illegal use of others' names in games using someone else's resident registration number. After this, though, they began to ramp up their efforts to try and avoid similar issues from happening again. The company implemented an improved user identification system, and built a much stronger information storage system. In terms of the negative perception around gaming, the company has worked to address this through Cultural Education Support programs aimed at educating youth across the world, and through Social Support programs targeting addiction help and prevention, as well as promoting game journal publications aimed at establishing a more proper and cohesive gaming culture. 

The company is doing a lot of good already, but they expect more out of themselves, and outsiders (including gamers) do too. What else do you think would be a good idea for them to persue?

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Re: NCsoft and Social Responsibility

Post by RPG4LIFE on Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:49 pm

One thing that I have always heard about in terms of ensuring proper social responsibility is being carried out is to build a corporate culture that places a value on ethical considerations. That is, applying ethical concerns from the outside to the internal culture and ensuring that these concerns are quelled. One concern that you alluded to is addiction. In reality, it will be nearly impossible to totally eliminate addiction from gaming - it is inherent in these kind of RPG's where you become so immersed in the character, you feel as if you are one with them.

The company has already done a lot in terms of trying to minimize cases of addiction. As you mentioned, they are involved in Social Support programs aimed at curbing addiction. More specifically, they have developed Internet prevention and group counseling programs, as well as counseling classes for students' parents. This signifies to me that they are in fact serious about reducing addiction. However, I think they can do more. As I alluded to earlier, they need to build a corporate culture that emphasizes their commitment to strong ethics and social responsibility. One thing that has stood out to me about the company, and after reading this thread, is how much this company places a value on "perfection". From the CEO all the way down to the developers, this emanates. The first thing that jumped out to me about this is the potential for over-worked employees. They concentrate so much on perfecting their work that they become one with their work, and effectively become the corporate equivalent of gaming addicts - workaholics. This is a problem, especially in Korea, where they are a higher Power Distance score under Hofstede's dimensions, indicating a slightly hierarchical society. Because their CEO values perfection, the employees could view this as something they must accept as lower level employees, and will accept the standards and hierarchy. In turn, they will work harder to try and fulfill their role as lower on the proverbial totem pole.

What is something that can be done to prevent this? I think that, for starters, NCsoft must ensure their employees only work a certain number of assigned hours, and do not stay in longer in their pursuit of perfection. If this is not feasible, then the company should begin to look externally to increase their developer base and reduce the workload on their current employees. This is a signal to the outside world that they are indeed mindful of ethical concerns and will work to address them, even if it means lowering their personal profits in the mean time. This will send the message to gamers that there should truly be a limit on their playing, and to be mindful of the harm addiction can cause.

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Re: NCsoft and Social Responsibility

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:10 pm

I never thought of that...wow, that brings a total different perspective to gaming. It almost makes me want to stop playing 24/7!!!

In all seriousness, that is an excellent suggestion that I think could go a long way in reducing some of the stigmas associated with gaming.

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