South Korea abolishes gaming curfew

Many young people like to play computer games - sometimes they get interested in the games already in elementary school. In theory, there is no problem with children playing video games as long as it stays within limits. South Korea saw things differently and introduced a night-time curfew for children and young people. Now a rethinking took place and the curfew was lifted. What's behind it?

Eine Szene aus dem beliebte Online Spiel Minecraft.

Games like Minecraft are only allowed in South Korea from the age of 17. This rule applies in addition to the night-time gambling ban for under-16s.(©allinonemovie/Pixabay)

This is what the curfew looked like

The one imposed by South Korea curfew of course not for everyone. It was created ten years ago to protectchildren under the age of 16. That sounds good so far, but strangely the curfew was between midnight and 6am. This law was intended to protect children and young adolescents so that they do not become addicted to gambling. However, if that had been the only reason, the ban should have applied during the day as well. Because by the time the curfew is over, the children are already in bed.

But: The latest results show that this was not the case. Children have been playing at night for the past ten years, despite the law. Due to this fact, the law has now been abolished in South Koreadas Gesetz wieder abgeschafft. As has been publicly announced, this is to be done out of respect for children and young people. Now the parents can decide how much and especially when the children play.

The curfew was circumvented in various ways

How did it happen that children and young people played video and computer games despite the curfew at night? This was apparently quite easy for the children: theylogged into their parents' account for example. This allowed the children to bypass the curfew. However, that was not the only reason why the offspring used their parents' account. In this way, the games could be used that have an age rating.

Microsoft, for example, decided to only release the popular open-world game hitMinecraft from the age of 17. However, this had little success when the children logged on via their parents' PC. Such creative ideas from the children also led to the abolition of the law. The South Korean government still believes that minors must be protected from gambling addiction. Now, however, supervision is shifted to the parents.

This is also because several studies have found that frequent play leads to problems at school.Some children skipped classes, for example or neglected their homework. If the children and young people complete a poor school education due to this problem, a general problem arises. This affects not only the youngsters, but society as a whole.

Regulated selection program also had no effect

South Korea has not only tried to prevent gambling addiction among minors with the nocturnal gambling ban. In addition, there was a selection system that was introduced in 2012. With this selection program, parents could choose from seven different game manufacturers. A total ofthere were 40 games available for the children. However, the children could only have used the games that their own parents had chosen. After this system was not particularly popular either, it is now being revised. Should it not be crowned with success even then, the selection system could be completely eliminated - as well as the nightly ban.

Both means that inthe parents are required in the future. You have to ensure that the children play less or not at all. To implement this, the government has a few tips:

  • Children should be allowed to play as a reward.
  • Games should be limited to a few hours a week.

As logical as the tips may sound - there could also be problems with the implementation here. Certainly the children had already received conditions from their parents, which they did not implement. In addition, the parents had certainly not allowed their computer to be used. In future, therefore,access to the parental computer should also be secured.

Are there other countries with similar laws?

Most countries try to protect minors in a different way. For example, there arecertain advertising bans so that children and young people do not even become aware of gambling. Online casinos present protection software that can be installed on the PC. Thanks to these programs, minors (under the age of 18) are also no longer able to access online casinos. Of course, parents can protect their computers with a password.

But: There are other countries that restrict underage gaming. InChina, minors are not allowed to play between 10pm and 8am. However, the platforms and companies should ensure this. In addition, children are allowed to play for a maximum of 90 minutes on a working day. The playing time is increased to three hours on weekends and school holidays. But who should control that if the parents don't feel responsible? China came up with the idea of ​​installing facial recognition. That was released in July 2021.

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The article was published on September 3rd, 2021 in the magazine by cpaws-ov.org under the keywords, ,, ,,, published.
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