If you can stretch your brain back a decade, you might remember a flurry of articles in the western press about a gaming curfew South Korea imposed on minors. At the time, we (under the original Massively banner at the time) were calling it the “nighttime shutdown” or “Cinderella law” as it essentially blocked teenagers from playing games during overnight blackout periods. The law was opposed by gaming companies like NCsoft and Nexon, of course, but the government went ahead with it anyway.
But according to The Korea Herald, the country is hoping to ditch the law after 10 years of messy implementation that apparently ran into problems with international exports, government departments working at cross-purposes, console and mobile titles being exempted, and games like Minecraft being flagged adult-use only. File this one under “bureaucracy is universal.”
Officials are apparently hoping to pass a revised Youth Protection Act later this year to lift the curfew and focus on a “choice system” that essentially places responsibility for excessive gaming on parents and guardians.
“For youths, games are an important leisure activity and communication channel,” says the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s Hwang Hee. “I hope that the preventive measures can respect the rights of the youths and encourage healthy home education.”