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South Korean Online Gaming Curfew For Young Teens Passes Committee Vote
South Korean Online Gaming Curfew For Young Teens Passes Committee Vote
April 22, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

April 22, 2011 | By Kyle Orland
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    18 comments
More: Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing



South Korea's legislation and judiciary committee has voted unanimously to move forward with a law that would prevent children under 15 from playing online games between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., according to a Chosunilbo report.

The "Cinderella" law will now go to a vote by the country's full national assembly, after being first proposed last April by the country's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and officially submitted to parliament late last year.

That proposal also included a test program which slowed down connection speeds on certain online games for young children that remained logged in for too many consecutive hours.

Critics of the law point out that banning late night play will only affect a small portion of players, who could simply shift their playing time or use a borrowed or pirated registration ID. Some also worry the law's effectiveness will be limited because it does not apply to offline and console games.

Online gaming addiction has been a major concern in the highly connected nation for years, with highly publicized reports of a death caused by a multi-day gaming marathon and a suicide of a 15-year-old whose parents barred him from his favorite titles. The Korea Game Industry Agency trade group maintains a Center for Internet Addiction to address such concerns.

Earlier this year, China reportedly implemented the "Parents' Guardian Project for Minors Playing Online Games," allowing parents to set limits on their children's access to online games.


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Comments


Cody Scott
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I really think the kids parents should be able to decide when their children are aloud to play games. The government really should not have had to make a law because of parents inability to parent.

Ryan Leslie
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Joe McGinn
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Disagree with both the above comments.



"I really think kids parents should be able to decide when their children are aloud to play slot machines."



Doesn't sound so silly now does it? Game-addiction is a serious, well documented problem. And it's coming to the West along with the wave of "free to play" games. Hell the FTC is already investigating Capcom for Smurf Village after a kid spent $1,400 on smurf berries.

Eric Geer
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mmmmm smurf berries

Cody Scott
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@ Joe. You are comparing apples and helicopters. You know that the games being talked about here are video games, and not slot machines. Although a slot machine is a game, I'm sure you are well aware of the difference in that type of gaming and the one stated in the law.



It does not matter if game addiction is a serious problem or not, it is still the parents job to watch over their children while playing games not the government of the country they live in.



And Why investigate Capcom, why not investigate the dumb ass who taught their child how to use a credit card on the computer (or left the card in a place that the kid could get their hands on).

Ryan Leslie
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The only thing is, most parents today don't really know the effects of video games on children, much less the ramifications of taking away something they don't see as an addictive substance. They listen to what little the news has to offer, and when there is a piece about video games in conjunction to children it is almost always based somewhat on stereotypes and hyperbole. For most of us, video games are fun, for the most part casual, and sometimes relaxing. They impact us only as an entertainment factor. But for some, especially a generation that has experienced very immersive and consistently (and virtually) rewarding games early on, they can become one of the few ways a person can satisfy that reward center of their brain, so they constantly want to keep it satisfied, in the form of getting to the top of leaderboards and achievements and the best loot (just a few examples). I mean at some point we've all stayed on a bit extra to get that last collectable item, or get to the next rank. For a few, it is a need. If parents were more knowledgable about the actual effects of an immersive entertainment medium on a younger mind, they might be able to effectively manage a child's use of it, instead of the immediate cut-off method that most parents seem to use today.

Ryan Leslie
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Jordan Salter
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"Some also worry the law's effectiveness will be limited because..."



The end of this sentence should read: "it's virtually impossible to enforce this ridiculous law."



On a related note, "Center for Internet Addiction"? Really? Life is so hard in the first world >.>

Jonathan Murphy
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How are you going to enforce that!? Kids are a lot smarter than their parents. Proof? Look at the law they put out. It proves they don't know how to handle the next generation. Poor kids. Watching these relics attack the internet is bad for business and human progress.

Joe McGinn
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Really weak arguments guys. Enforcement is hard, so you just shouldn't even try?



That's just silly. Enforcement of drunk driving is hard, many get away scot-free, so why even try? See how absurd your argument is?

Jordan Salter
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That's a pretty specious argument, dude. Drunk driving is hardly a valid comparison.



I didn't say enforcement was hard - I said it was impossible - but that has nothing to do with the reason why I think the law is useless, it's just a hilarious coincidence. I don't believe this law would serve a practical or meaningful purpose regardless of whether it can be enforced or not.

Daniel Gooding
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I believe that I started pulling all night gaming sessions on Fridays, and Saturdays when I got to be around 12. Basically around the time that I was allowed to start regularly staying at friends houses overnight on the weekends. I think I started staying up past midnight on school nights by the time I hit 16, basically when I didn't have to wake up for the bus anymore. So if it was only school nights, then it probably wouldn't be that much of a problem.



Simply put this law will still be entirely forced by parents, and if they put age restrictions on their internet. Similar to pornography. Some parents will enforce it, others probably don't worry about it as much. I claimed I was 18 on-line long before I turned 18.



If anything this law will encourage many parents to allow their children full access to the internet at a much younger age now, because many parents would rather their children not get fined, or sent to a correctional facility.



Now slowing down their connection speed after they've been on for an extended period of time.... that's just cruel. Imagine a child gamer prodigy being in a heated Starcraft/Any Fighting Game Match, and their internet randomly starts lagging like crazy.

Luis Blondet
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The way you fight addiction is with education and upbringing, not with the mindless brute force of law.



Silly Humans...

Daniel Gooding
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I actually agree with this wholeheartedly.



While some might hate this,

Both myself, and my parents are non-religious, however they took me to Sunday school from when I was 5-10, because during that age time-frame Sunday school is about 80% moral teaching, and 20% religion. They gave me the option to continue going after that if I wanted. They didn't reveal they were not religious to me at the time till I hit 18. Giving me my free will at age 10 to choose myself. I chose the lazy route of sleeping in on Sunday. Needless to say despite my choice of religion or not, the experience gave me much stronger morals than most.



Another good example is Karate. I showed interest at a young age, and my parents were for the idea. I took it for about 2 years, Most parents think that it is a form of violence. But martial arts teaches it's students that Violence should always be the last option.



Parents should teach their children intelligent decision making, not just making the choice for them.

Ryan Leslie
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Tim Johnston
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I would have expected to hear this about NORTH Korea, not South...They must really think they have a problem.

Joe McGinn
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Tim - they do have a problem. 7% - 13% of youth addicted to video games, depending on who's figures you believe. Even at 7%, we are talking actual addiction here - the same "harm to multiple areas of your life" definition used to define alcoholism in the west.



Look, I make my living by making games. I'm not some anti-gaming nut. But if we bury our head in the sand and pretend there's no problem, well that's what Capcom did and look at the result: the FTC investigating our industry. If we keep acting this way there WILL be regulations here too, regulations inflicted upon us from without.



None of us want that. Which is why I argue we need to be discussing standards for ethical game design, so that we can self regulate (like the ESRB rating system) before laws are forced upon us. Sadly I have little hope because few want to discuss it, you either get people ridiculing the very idea (as in this thread) or pulling the Rodney Dangerfield "I can't get no respect I tells ya!" social-gaming routines that passed for debate at GDC.

Majed Al-Aleeli
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Its good to have multiple positive sources to affect a child upbringing, if parents fail in their role to teach their children, then hopefully they learn from school, if the school fails then hopefully they learn from their environment ( good community and good friends) if all of that fails then its good to see another source such as law coming into affect, from experience we used to spend 14 hours in a gaming café, I started doing that during university days and that had severe results on my grades, as for kids, they should be protected, life is long they will get chance to play to their full.

This law is more to stop them from spending nights outside the house in a cafe surrounded by strangers, till 4am in the morning, the cafe shops will have to enforce them, like in cinemas with adult movies and bars.


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