Every night, kids all around the world spend their nights gaming online, when they should be sleeping. Most of us can recall, or still have to suffer our parents telling us to turn off our consoles and go to bed, usually to no avail. In South Korea, however, internet and online gaming addictions are at much higher levels than most countries. The government took matters into their own hands by introducing a ‘Shutdown Law’ (also known as the ‘Cinderella Law’) last year.
This law blocks online gaming for anyone under the age of sixteen for a particular time frame every night. Between the hours of 12am and 6am, youths under this age are banned from gaming online, the aim being to ensure Korean youngsters get six hours of sleep each night.
While the initial target of this law was PC gaming, it spread to target PSN in Autumn of last year, which resulted in Sony banning players under the age of sixteen from creating new accounts and prohibited them from logging onto PSN. The start of this year sees Xbox Live follow suit.
Microsoft claimed that due to the difficulties in monitoring that they were considering simply shutting down Xbox Live for all South Korean members during this six hour timeframe. Yesterday it was decided that this would not be the case and that this would only apply to those under the age of sixteen. They have confirmed that those over this age will not be affected.
Naturally, this law has been met with much opposition by various gaming groups, developers and even civil rights advocates, and the government has been criticized for ‘excessive prohibition’. While the aim behind this law is clear and the measures taken seem rather extreme, for now the South Korean government shows no signs of changing their mind any time soon.