You may or may not have heard about a new law in South Korea that prohibits minors 16 and under from playing a certain amount of online games. In South Korea a high percentage of their population are nearly addicted to video games, and the Government wanted to keep minors from putting all their time into online games by limiting the amount of time they can spend online, using time allocation measures via a gamer's ID card.
The South Korean curfew for gamers under 16 has now been challenged in court due to a number of companies, parents and kids not liking the new ban on the amount of hours minors are allowed to play online games.
The news comes courtesy of Korean site This Is Game [via GameSpot] where they lay out the court claims and some parents want to fight the ruling.
According to GameSpot, the original shutdown law that blocks out online gaming for gamers under 16 also affected the PSN Store and some Xbox Live members in South Korea as well, preventing access to services between 12:00am to 6:00am.
The original shutdown ban created quite a stir of controversy because many gamers feel the Government should not step in to influence or dictate the way gamers play or for how long. However, this has been contested by some gamers who believe that this step is necessary due to the lack of discipline issued by some parents, who allow their kids to play games all day and night, neglecting important school and home duties.
South Korea has always been rather stringent with their outlook on gaming in terms of its affects on their culture at large. They restricted the use of the Real-Money Auction House in Blizzard's Diablo III due to fears of an outbreak of gambling addiction and they later banned all virtual item trades for real-life money due to the huge rise in black market scams and trading.
I'm on the fence on this one because I know how easy it is to get obsessed and addicted to a fun game, especially during the prime 12 through 18 year range (or heck, even 18+). The shutdown ban does at least keep kids from playing games well into the night and limits them on how much time they spend playing video games , in order for them to spend the appropriate amount of time on their studies. On the other hand...Government controlling your playing habits seems a little intrusive and it should be the job of the parent to determine these kind of domestic issues.
How do you feel about this? Should the ban be challenged or should it stay in place?