Aug. 3 (UPI) -- North Korea is developing new video games domestically to improve the leisure time of the population, state media says.
Pyongyang propaganda service DPRK Today said in an article published Sunday the regime has developed "various information technology products to greatly contribute to the cultural and emotional life of the people."
North Korea's Information Technology Institute, operating under the government's main computer research center, developed the video games. The institute has previously developed games for adults and children, including 3D Squirrel and Hedgehog. The game is based on a popular North Korean animated series of the same name.
On Monday, DPRK Today said the North Korea-developed games had superior sound quality and special effects.
"You can feel the gunshots and [reverberations] that are delivered more realistically than in the electronic entertainment of other countries," state media said. The article also said games involving electronic guns that are suited for children have been newly developed.
"Researching and producing [video games] with [the state's] proprietary power and technology is an important project that instills pride and pride in our youth, students and workers of all levels," DPRK Today said.
North Korea state media has previously published photos of people playing video games in arcades at sites like Rungra People's Pleasure Ground. The games feature virtual skiing and flying competitions, as well as horse racing.
Technology has taken on an important role under Kim Jong Un, who was known to be an expert in "computer numerical control" long before he assumed power.
Pyongyang's media is promoting video games at a time when the country is still enforcing social distancing guidelines in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
KCNA reported Monday the state is requiring all citizens to wear a face mask. Pyongyang has suggested a defector who fled the South earlier in the month may be responsible for a new outbreak, but infections could be spreading in other parts of the country, according to Japan-based news service Asia Press on Saturday.