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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

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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