South Korea's shutdown law under fire

Korean game companies like NCsoft and Neowiz are leading the charge against the country's Shutdown Law.

Parents and game companies are starting to throw lawsuits at the South Korean government concerning the country's Shutdown Law. The law prohibits minors under 16 from playing games for six hours starting at 12 midnight in an effort to use their time more productively.

According to Korean site This Is Game (via Kotaku), game makers that have currently thrown down the gauntlet are NCsoft, Neowiz, and Nexon.

The publishers of Aion aren't that gung-ho about the Shutdown Law.

An unverified Korean parent and teenager organization representing culture (possibly the group MoonHwaYunDae) also filed for a lawsuit against the government. On a related note, South Korea's Ministry of Gender Equality and Family said that the law is the "bare minimum" required to protect teenagers from managing their time badly and making unsound decisions based on their upbringing.

Recently, the PSN Store in Korea was affected by the law.

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303 comments
Falru
Falru

LORD FORBID I SPEND A FOURTH OF MY LIFE EVERYDAY ACTUALLY BEING ENTERTAINED.

 

How about we pass a law that prevents teenagers from engaging in conversations with anyone, in order to prevent them ever becoming stressed and embarrassed in front of other people.

kyle756
kyle756

this should never be the job of the government, I thought North Korea was suppose to be dictatorship, this law is just blatant awful

elby322
elby322

I would admit that if I were 12 years old and my parents didn't control how much gaming I did, I would probably neglect school and whatever else to play games.  Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately) my parents ruled over me with godlike power.  It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to make sure kids don't overdo it, but if both parents are working all day, what can they do?  Anyway, six hours a day is hardly healthy.  A fourth of your life gone like that.  They should let up on weekends and vacations though.  A little game marathon wouldn't hurt once in a while, just not everyday.

Born_Lucky
Born_Lucky

Yeah, next thing you know, some self righteous dictator, will be fining them $2000, if they don't buy products the government tells them to buy.

 

 

Oh  . . . wait. . .

KillerSlothLol
KillerSlothLol

I can imagine when it evntually gets blocked off, the raging that will happen, i mean its bad enough with kids these days when they rage at just a a loss of conectivity, yelling screaming, but when they get forced off i can see them sitting in a coner with their heads in their knees crying.

dannyatkinson
dannyatkinson

All the idiotic governments just want to pass laws that force people to do nice productive things and not bad things.  Problem is good and bad are defined differently by every person out there.  All the governments need to just stfu and leave people alone.

JaxxRaxor
JaxxRaxor

I'm sure teenagers in Korea play all of the various microtransaction MMOs to much but it's not something the goverment should decide, but parents. Happy something like this would never happen in the USA.

Slash_out
Slash_out

Law taking away freedom is just a bad idea.

If laws like this can be put into place, then what? No music after midnight? No lights on ? Then if this is the bare minimum, why not prevent entertainement the rest of the day? And why not Martial law while we are at it?

Anyway this is ridiculous.

 

As for parents not letting kids do things like playing for a long time. Every parent have their own ideas, and plans for their kid, it is fine.

But I know for a fact that too much control is bad. What happens when parents are always behind you when you play a video game? When you start living alone you go nuts playing for the first few years. That's just how it is.

 

An idiot exemple, when I was a child (I had a good childhood though) I was always told to "play outside" when it was sunny, and watch my brothers. Only when it was raining was I allowed to watch cartoons inside, or play video games. So now what? Loving the rain was ingrained in me. Wherever I am, when it starts raining, I just open the windows or go outside, and enjoy it. It feels good.

 

Control a good thing? Hah. You'll only raise kids with weird habits, not responsible for themselves, and that will spoil their time once they are finally free from the parents/governement.

Heavenly_King
Heavenly_King

Even though it is a bit radical,  I think it is quite useful because 16 year old kids are still in development (brain and body) so they need to sleep at least 10 hours in order to fulfill all its development potential due to the growth hormone.   Once they are 19-20 they can do whatever they want because their brain and body wont get any better by sleeping (although it can make them to have a better performance in work and study).

Snowx1
Snowx1

I disagree with this law. I dont think it is right of the government to try and impose a law hindering your freedom of choice ever. Also, a comment to the guy saying that you fail as a parent if you let your kid play video games fo longer than 3-4 hours, when I was younger  I use to play longer than 3-4 hours a day and I seem to have turned out fine. Part of that reason I would give credit to my parents, but alot of the responsibility was my own. I knew that I had a responsibilty to get up and get to class and pretty much make sure I got my important shit done before life playtime could occur. What I am trying to say is that a good part of the responsibility is your own. You have to want to succeed yourself or else it wont matter how much your parent tries to tell you to do this or that or how many laws they may pass.

 

I simpily dont agree with a law like this because it would take away a freedom of choice and hunch, would end up being more like a totalitarian government. It is not the governments job to try and tell anyone how their child should live or what they can and cant do at certain times.

Romangelo
Romangelo

I'm not agree with the law but parents that let their kids play games more than 3-4 hours/day are failed as parent.

JangoF-76
JangoF-76

Not sure if everyone is aware (because this 'article' certainly neglects to metion it) but this law only applies to playing online. So really not that big a deal. People can still play games 24/7 if they like, just not online. For people like me who never play online, wouldn't affect them at all.

 

Classic tabloid-style journalism - ommitting certain information in order to make it sound more sensational than it actually is.

Slagar
Slagar

Although I agree with the rule in general, it's not the government's job to enforce a law like this. That's what you call a nanny-state.

Besides, even if I agreed on the rule for my [hypothetical] 16 year old kid, I'd allow exceptions too, such as LAN weekends with friends. This kind of rule doesn't belong in law.

Flamerdragon
Flamerdragon

It is bad parenting. When I was young going to school, I bought my first Playstation.

Dad I agreed to get me one. However I would only play during the weekends. So I did. Was having my fun with friends outside playing hide and seek and games like that during working days. Weekends I would play my Playstation and I enjoyed it much more, because it was a special day. I kept that "law" until I finished school.

 

So if the government is thinking of such laws, it would be I guess the result of bad parenting.

 

I child comes by knowing nothing. It grows and learns, by exploring, adjusting to its environment, what is being taught, what is sees, how it is raised.

 

At first it sounded a good idea, but still, it is against freedom.

It reminds me of sci-fi with futuristic cities, how they control us and such.

How everything is controlled. I don't want that.

 

Children are their parents responsibility.

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

Kinda like the idea to be honest. In college we needed this, a few kids in my dorm, rather than doing the other fun things, rarely went to class and ate once a day for CoD or guitar Hero. One kid actually got an intervention (which I laughed at tbh) because he hadn't even showered in 2 weeks. I say, why limit it to 16 yo? I figure if your a bad enough parent to let your child stay up past a decent hour farming digital loot the government should step in, if only for the child's welfare. Let the kid stay up and fail school now, but have his freedom to game, or take away a bit of freedom so the kid can afford food when they are 30? Tough call to me...

commando1992
commando1992

And people think the healthcare law is government invasion into our lives. 

Master_Vexov
Master_Vexov

So insteed of playing video games.. they just glue they're eyes to T.V. ... then they can do the same for T.V then they just go to the internet for T.V shows. Then they take away even more freedom because they want to impose what they believe in or live like.

Breyant
Breyant

I'm glad I live in a country that doesn't try to control how I spend my free time.

Doomrul
Doomrul

Korean Games are the ultimate farming fests ... I know there will be an outrageous amounts of flare to this but... Seriously get a life ! (or just play Orcs Must Die, World Of Tanks or small Indie Games, 15-20 minutes of gameplay and done ... no commitments )

bagmup
bagmup

Where would they prefer a 16 year old? At home playing video games after midnight or out doing drugs/getting pregnant? Or do they have a curfew in S Korea as well?

BillyColeman
BillyColeman

wow thats it your kids dont get to bed? were i am ppl are trying to keep there kids from geting shot but ok. 

edant79
edant79

Ha! Silly mortals and their attempts at governing themselves....

 

All kidding aside....if forcing kids to go to bed is your biggest problem, than you live in a better country than most. Be thankful you weren't born in the northern half of Korea.

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

Don't you know?  Nobody goes out on dates anymore.  :(

bigmark119
bigmark119

yes its only between midnight and 6am but people seem to forget how big these games are in s. Korea and even when i was in that age bracket if i hadn't been playing games on weekend night i would have been out doing stupid shit.

gmromero
gmromero

How do you even enforce this law anyway? Does the ROK Army come to your house every morning with a stop watch? Even if you get locked out of a game after 6 hours, why can't you switch accounts and keep playing if you really want to? 

dannyatkinson
dannyatkinson

 @JaxxRaxor Don't know where you live but our government is way way out of control here in the USA.

MrUkulele
MrUkulele

 @Slash_out Without taking sides in whether this ban is a good thing or a bad thing, I'd just like to point out a fallacy in your arguments. You say taking away freedom is bad. Gaming in South Korea has become quite the social problem, and research has shown gaming can have a decidedly addictive effect. When someone is addicted to the point of spending more than two thirds of the day (that is more than sixteen hours) on gaming, how much freedom can there be? You think that person would would choose to cut down on the gaming without any outside influence? Also, should the South Korean government let the problem of excessive gaming be without an attempt at remedy, that'd naturally impact the freedom of every other korean who does not play (simple economics)

Heavenly_King
Heavenly_King

 @Romangelo As long as kids complete their tasks successfully, and have a healthy lifestyle, I think they can play the time they want.   If playing is the way they have fun why deny it?

fireforge_basic
fireforge_basic

 @JangoF-76 .... I mean it is kind of given that they can't really make a law to play off line. How would it be enforced?

Heavenly_King
Heavenly_King

 @Flamerdragon Yeah, but if everything is screwed up, someone must fix it dont you think??  I know it is a bit radical, but as people takes notice of the benefits of using night time to SLEEP (or to do more productive things which I doubt they will find at that hour) they will begin to do that on their own, and not because they are being "forced".

blueguykisame
blueguykisame

 @Diablo-BI don't think that i could have put that any better; when im 'out playing' rather than 'spending too much time playing video games,' I'm doing those things half the time. Certainly not all the time, as my access to such is somewhat limited and i try to be a decent kid, but nonetheless if I'm out , particularly at night, especially between 12-6 rather than playing games, I'm probably doing at LEAST one of those things.

 

JesperLundin
JesperLundin

 @Diablo-B I'm 28. I have never tried any kind of drugs, never doing any kind vandalism or stuff like that. And i turned out pretty normal. Got a job, my own place to live and paying my bill on time.

What's wrong with me you say? Nothing really.

 

Master_Vexov
Master_Vexov

 @Doomrul

 because korean games are farming fest, you assume they all do this and they all just play korean games for farming fests?. The ppl that need a life or thoes who try to impose they're values and beliefs on others.

Eggic
Eggic

 @Doomrul totally agree that's why i quit World of Warcraft.

JIMDOG4442002
JIMDOG4442002

 @gmromeroo but you are required to enter service at a certain age to do your part for the country unless your rich or something ,that country is so messed up.

ispeakfact
ispeakfact

@dannyatkinson @JaxxRaxor My god are you ever right.

Slash_out
Slash_out

 @MrUkulele That is true, but in that case, what is the real problem? Online gaming?

Or the reason pushing this country in particular to online gaming?

If online gaming is so strong, it's because people want to escape reality isn't it? There is a reason, in that country alone, pushing all those people online. Or it would not be such a targeted problem. Take away online gaming, something else will replace it. Maybe even worse.

Xenrathe
Xenrathe

Ehh... I would suggest you have some issues with reading comprehension.

Doomrul
Doomrul

 @Master_Vexov Not imposing anything. Just been there done that. Take it as a very friendly warning. Not worth it.

MrUkulele
MrUkulele

 @Slash_out Nah, I didn't intend to say online gaming is bad in itself. People overdo lots of other things as well, for a variety of reasons. I agree that there must be some other reasons for their problems, but the issues of lost youth are not exclusive to Korea, we see it all over the world. And there's definitely a lot to be done at the root of the problem. Even so, here they are only limiting gaming partially, not completely - kids under sixteen are presumably still in mandatory schooling, and I know from experience gaming entire nights when you are supposed to be at school is not good for your education nor for your health. Incidentally, knowledge is a key factor in freedom provided you still want to remain part of society.

 

Still, they could risk kids coming to school to game on, like is happening here these days (Norway).