Late night online gaming banned in Korea for underaged kids

by: Bradley Wint on April 12th, 2010 at 3:53 pm

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The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in Korea has implemented two policies to aid in curbing the growing number of cases of video game addiction among youths. They have implemented a process called the “nighttime shutdown” in which young gamers will be booted out of online gaming sessions at 12am. Also, when users near the 12 o clock period, their gaming Internet speeds will be drastically reduced.

They have set up 6 hour time frames with options from either 12-6am, 1-7am or 2-8am. They have not commented on how they will be managing these limits, but they did say that they have a plan to counter children who use their parents’ registration numbers to play online.

A total of 19 online games have been targeted so far, which represents nearly 80% of the Korean online gaming community. Titles such as “Maple Story” and “Mabinogi” have been selected because of the number of hours required to level up in the game. At the moment, 4 games are being tested with the slowdown and shutdown schemes, and they plan to have to ban implemented on a much larger scale by mid 2010.

Gaming corporations have already commented on the situation, saying the government targeted the wrong crowds, and that MMORPG games should take center stage instead. Like most systems, critics expect young players to get around the ban, maybe with the use of private servers or VPN. This may also change how online developers package multiplayer options for the Korean market.

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