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South Korea's Shutdown Law Goes Into Effect
South Korea's Shutdown Law Goes Into Effect
November 23, 2011 | By Eric Caoili

November 23, 2011 | By Eric Caoili
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South Korea's recently passed Shutdown Law went into effect on November 20, and now requires online games to block children aged under 16 from playing during a late-night six-hour block.

The so-called Cinderella Law was passed earlier this year, advocated by the government's Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism (MCST) and Ministry of Gender Equality and Family (MGEF) as a way to prevent online gaming addiction.

Console services like Sony's PlayStation Network and Microsoft's Xbox Live are affected, with the former no longer allowing 15-year-olds and younger to register for PSN accounts or to log in between midnight and 6AM.

Xbox Live has been given a two-month grace period to create a system for tracking users' age and blocking children from logging in during the late-night hours. It's possible the service could block all users no matter their age during that period.

Critics of the Shutdown Law argue that the law violates children's civil rights, and that the government hasn't proven that playing games is more harmful than watching TV or movies, listening to music, or engaging in other indoor activities.

The Korea Association of Game Industry (KAOGI), which is made up of 14 game publishers like Nexon and NCsoft, claimed the law enforces "excessive prohibition" on a small number of players, and has been preparing a lawsuit regarding the curfew.

Cultural solidarity organization MoonHwaYunDae (MHYD) also filed an appeal to the Korea's Constitutional Court against the law last month. Despite the opposition, the new policy went into effect this week without any significant issues.

Some people are working around the Law, though, by using their parents' accounts created with their social security numbers, or by logging into Western servers for games like League of Legends instead of local servers, according to This Is Game.

The Korean news site also reports that MCST and MGEF are seeking to have local online game companies create account certification systems that collect personal data such as social security numbers and credit card info to prevent workarounds.


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Comments


Curtis Turner - IceIYIaN
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What about the kids who go to bed after school? I loved school for the eye candy, but it was dreadful waking up at six/seven a.m. As a, "night owl", it was just plain stupid

Nino Protic
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"The Korean news site also reports that MCST and MGEF are seeking to have local online game companies create account certification systems that collect personal data such as social security numbers and credit card info to prevent workarounds."



Yes brilliant, lets store Creditcard info ourselves. In times were like Steam and PSN are being hacked, this is the absolutely best way to go around it! Hipphipp hurray for Korea!

Justin Benoit
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So despite there being almost no concrete evidence that in either Steam or PSN's case, the CC info was actually compromised, and considering Korea has long been using SSNs to authenticate their users (and to stop foreigners from signing up for the majority of their MMOs), I don't actually see this is as a problem.



"Some people are working around the Law, though, by using their parents' accounts created with their social security numbers, or by logging into Western servers for games like League of Legends instead of local servers, according to This Is Game."



This is the part I have a problem with, because it's bad enough in LoL now when dealing with foreign people who refuse to communciate with you, throw the match, then play the race discrimination card when anyone complains, we don't need even more floods of foreign players into the NA servers.

Guy Costantini
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Interested to see how this plays out in the long run.

Harry Fields
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Maybe there's hope for a unified Korea after all. I mean, this is a policy even Kim Jong-Il would approve...

Let parents parent.

eric gideon
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all thats gonna do is cause people to use foreign servers, which means they are losing a lot of potential tax revenue. i'll admit i'm no expert on the subject, but this strikes me as pretty silly.


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