As the strike of over 13,000 truckers in South Korea stretched into its fifth day today, grim ramifications are beginning to take shape.
Over seventy-five percent of South Korea’s forty-nine million citizens spend more than 18 hours a day playing online games such as Starcraft, FIFA Soccer, and KartRider, but due to the transit strike fun and games have given way to a brutal fight for survival. Online gamers in dimly-lit apartments and internet cafés are running critically low on important staples such as Cheetos and Mountain Dew.
With their supply of processed and prepackaged foods having dwindled to nothing, increasingly desperate players have been forced to turn to primitive foodstuffs from local markets such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
Lacking the basic nutrients they need for survival, gamers across Korea are succumbing to fatigue in record numbers. In most Starcraft chat rooms Tuesday, there was nary a “GOGOGO” or “KEKEKE” to be found as those gamers that had not crumpled in their chairs from malnutrition were too lethargic to execute more than the bare minimum number of keystrokes.
With the entire South Korean online economy showing signs of collapsing, the government took evasive action on Tuesday, making urgent pleas that the striking truckers return to work. Five Cabinet ministers said in a statement that if the truckers do not resume their junk food deliveries immediately, they will take swift legal action.
“The virtual bloodshed must be put to a stop,” said the statement, calling the strike “collective newb activities.”
Although the online population of South Korea’s most popular virtual worlds had declined by nearly 30% by Tuesday, officials estimate that the majority of the country’s gamers will be able to pull through as long as the junk food supply is resumed by Friday.