Korea bans kids from late night gaming, they don't listen

By on January 3, 2012, 7:30 AM

It's been just over a month since South Korea banned minors from late night gaming, but the regulation has reportedly done little to change habits. Introduced by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) and the Ministry of Gender Equality (MGEF), the "Shutdown Law" (also called the "Cinderella Law") forbids children aged under 16 from playing online games between midnight and 6AM.

The legislation is meant to address the increasing rate of online gaming addiction and although it originally targeted MMORPGs, all online genres and platforms are currently affected -- at least on paper, anyway. A panel commissioned by This Is Game believes the new law has had a "nominal" impact on young gamers who find workarounds to continue playing into the wee hours of the morning.

For instance, many kids log in to an account owned by their parents or another adult, according Maemi, a young panelist. Less "privileged" minors simply utilize the lockdown period to fire up offline games. Besides MMORPGs and a handful of other multiplayer-only genres, most online games have an offline component and, of course, there's an infinite sea of single player games on each platform.

The researchers also included game developer JongDeuk Kim, who recorded no change in the number of concurrent users for both youth and adult age ranges -- again, because youngsters just hop on their parent's account. KiMin Yang, a researcher of Cultural Society Institute, acknowledged the futility of the existing law and believes new anti-addiction methods should be explored.

"Restriction and care are totally different. We need to show the conservative groups that we are protecting the youth in different ways, not neglecting them," said Yang, who continued by adding that the country should strive to understand its children better. Meanwhile, Yonsei University professor TaeSoon Park, thinks game developers should pursue less harmful business models.




User Comments: 21

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Rasta211 said:

I think 12am to 6am is pretty reasonable. But I should be the parents responsibility at the end of the day.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

rasta211 said:

I think 12am to 6am is pretty reasonable. But I should be the parents responsibility at the end of the day.

+1

fpsgamerJR62 said:

Legislation seldom works especially in matters concerning the behavior of teenagers. It's actually a matter of responsible parenthood wherein children are taught proper use of all forms of electronic entertainment.

jetkami said:

I applaud the country for caring enough to do something! Everyone fell a few times before they learned to walk...'cept for maybe baby MJ inventor of the moonwalk.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

This should really be an issue parents take up with their kids, not an issue for legislation.

TeamworkGuy2 said:

+TorturedChaos

Parents have the responsibility to govern when their kids play and game.

Government regulation of when kids play is sort of extreme (authoritarianism leaning).

caravel said:

I applaud the country for caring enough to do something!

Ok, let me give you an example. Let's suppose you have kids, you send the kids to bed at 9pm, you go to bed at 11pm, the kids sneak downstairs and play video games until 12:15am, without your knowledge, you find out in the morning and all hell breaks loose, you tell them off and punish them - that should be the end of it...

Now let's just suppose you also get caught and fined/imprisoned for that - still applauding?

Now let's deal with the issue of whether the state should even know, or be monitoring, what you and your family are doing in your own home from 12am to 6am - and take it from there...

Government regulation of when kids play is sort of extreme (authoritarianism leaning).

It's nothing short of Totalitarian policy in fact.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

caravel said:

I applaud the country for caring enough to do something!

Ok, let me give you an example. Let's suppose you have kids, you send the kids to bed at 9pm, you go to bed at 11pm, the kids sneak downstairs and play video games until 12:15am, without your knowledge, you find out in the morning and all hell breaks loose, you tell them off and punish them - that should be the end of it...

Now let's just suppose you also get caught and fined/imprisoned for that - still applauding?

Now let's deal with the issue of whether the state should even know, or be monitoring, what you and your family are doing in your own home from 12am to 6am - and take it from there...

Government regulation of when kids play is sort of extreme (authoritarianism leaning).

It's nothing short of Totalitarian policy in fact.

The big brother aspects aside, you can use this from a perspective of removing an attractive nuisance. A lot of people play MP games for the social interaction aspect. Remove that, and some of them will stop playing.

treetops treetops said:

lol i love the stereotypical picture of a kid playing sc1. Well this lets parents give a better answer then because I said so when they tell their kids not to play games late on a school night.

AnonymousSurfer AnonymousSurfer said:

rasta211 said:

I think 12am to 6am is pretty reasonable. But I should be the parents responsibility at the end of the day.

I think a better time would be from 1 or 2 to 6. Although I am completely against this law. You don't see them limiting the time that smokers smoke, so why should they limit the time children play videogames. I understand the addiction, in fact I have had it in the past, playing upwards of 12-16 hours a day. But I don't think the government has the right to try to put that in place. Again, you don't see them limiting the times of smokers. Yes, they have a ban on certain places the smokers can smoke (which is not followed) but they aren't limiting the times they smoke. AND smoking can kill you, while as gaming can cause suicide in extreme cases.

Lionvibez said:

treetops said:

lol i love the stereotypical picture of a kid playing sc1. Well this lets parents give a better answer then because I said so when they tell their kids not to play games late on a school night.

Why would that be stereotypical in Korea?

Do you have any idea how big starcraft has been in that country for the last 15 years. In fact had they posted any other picture it would have been a lie. No one stays up late to play the sims.

ramonsterns said:

AnonymousSurfer said:

You don't see them limiting the time that smokers smoke, so why should they limit the time children play videogames.

It is illegal for anyone 16 or under to smoke.

But yes, this should be the parent's responsibility.

treetops said:

lol i love the stereotypical picture of a kid playing sc1. Well this lets parents give a better answer then because I said so when they tell their kids not to play games late on a school night.

The better answer is a big leather belt and leave them to cry themselves to sleep every night they don't listen.

RH00D RH00D said:

I have an idea, raise your kids with respect and integrity and reward them for good behaviour (that doesn't mean you should not punish for bad behaviour) and then we wouldn't have these problems in the first place, except for kids who have a severe medical condition that would cause them to be unstable. Those cases are pretty rare to begin with though anyway.

There's no problem with playing games all night. I'm on Christmas break and I've been playing Diablo 2 until almost 5AM for the last few days. But I do NOT have an addiction, when school resumes I'll have no problem putting the game down and doing what I need to do. Because I do NOT have an addiction. These kids obviously have an extreme addiction, and legislation is not going to cure their addiction.

jester376 said:

This Korean Law is a joke. -We should find more ways to tell them we are helping them not punishing them.- Maybe if they were adults, but even if they tried to reason with the minors, chances are they won't undesrtand, or won't care to listen to some politician babble about things they know nothing about. If they want to stop games, they're going to have to jut ban the games, not make bans on gaming time. This is as bad the SOPA bill.

Mindwraith said:

jetkami said:

I applaud the country for caring enough to do something! Everyone fell a few times before they learned to walk...'cept for maybe baby MJ inventor of the moonwalk.

sorry to nitpick, but MJ didn't invent the moonwalk :P

caravel said:

AND smoking can kill you, while as gaming can cause suicide in extreme cases.

There is no solid evidence linking gaming to suicide or mental health problems for that matter. Gaming is often associated with anti-social or reclusive individuals who are in turn often linked to mental health problems, depression and suicide. This does not mean that gaming is linked to suicide, it simply means that people read the papers, watch the news and jump to conclusions based on little to nothing in the way of scientific fact.

It is illegal for anyone 16 or under to smoke.

*In some countries. (In South Korea the smoking age is 19).

But yes, this should be the parent's responsibility.

Yes.

The better answer is a big leather belt and leave them to cry themselves to sleep every night they don't listen.

No...

The best answer if the child is addicted to games and it is affecting their health, social life and education is for the parent to remove the source of the problem - the games console and the games and control access to it. Parental responsibility.

Guest said:

How do they know they are minors. I wonder who puts real info on their profile. I know I never will, too much sites wana know my name adress and birth date.

Guest said:

no computer,no gaming in night.

Guest said:

I'm just wondering why in 2014 that kid has such a small monitor. There's NO WAY you can play starcraft 2 comfortably in anything but 1080p+.

Guest said:

In Korea it is required for you to use your Korean Social Security Number to signup for online gaming. They do this to prevent people from across the globe from accessing their servers, as well as tracking individuals. You can't create an account on a server in Korea without using this number. That is how they know your age.

mailpup mailpup said:

I'm just wondering why in 2014 that kid has such a small monitor. There's NO WAY you can play starcraft 2 comfortably in anything but 1080p+.
I'm curious as to how you can be so sure he doesn't have a new monitor in 2014.

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