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Flashcart piracy marches on in Korea

Although most of Nick Rumas' Gamasutra article on the ubiquity of R4 flashcart piracy in Korea is based on anecdotal evidence, we still found his piece to be pretty fascinating. While DS piracy may not be rampant in the U.S., Korea is renowned as a hotbed of piracy in videogaming, and Rumas claims that as many as three in five DS owners there possess a flashcart -- and we can't see all of those being used for homebrew.

Rumas also tells tales of traders in Seoul's Yongsan Electronics Market openly selling customized R4 flashcarts to customers (who simply pay up their $87 and select the titles they'd like from a master list), and of Korean consumers who are far more clued-up about game piracy than their western equivalents (including middle-aged women, and young children).

He eventually chalks this widespread acceptance of piracy up to more than one factor, including Korea's low minimum wage, an increasingly high cost of living, an apathetic government, and the fact that downloading games without paying for them is simply more of a cultural norm. With the DS now selling in respectable numbers in Korea, we can't imagine Nintendo being overly happy to hear of Korea's piracy endemic, but as Rumas notes, "Regardless of what [government] measures are undertaken, no real dent ever seems to be made."

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