Minecraft Gets A 19+ Age Restriction In South Korea
Users are protesting a Korean law that makes Minecraft adults-only.
While Minecraft is generally considered a great child-friendly game, a law in South Korea has resulted in the game being blocked off to all players under the age of 19. The ban isn't anything to do with any of Minecraft's content, but the fact that an Xbox Live account is needed to play the game.
As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, Microsoft recently informed South Korean players that they would need an Xbox Live account to continue playing Minecraft, with accounts only able to be made for people over the age of 19.
The age restriction is due to a controversial South Korean "shutdown law," which prohibits children from playing games between midnight and 6 AM. The law has been in place since 2011. While some game providers have implemented technical solutions to prevent minors from playing their games between these hours, Microsoft instead chose to restrict all Xbox Live accounts for people under the age of 19. Until now, users have been able to sidestep that restriction by logging into Minecraft with a Mojang account instead.
As explained by industry analyst Daniel Ahmad, the law was controversial even before the Minecraft news, and there are movements dedicated to having it removed or amended. Critics of the long-running curfew have questioned how effective the law actually is, with many workarounds available.
The shutdown law in South Korea, which prevents minors from playing games between midnight and 6am, has become increasingly controversial.— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) July 6, 2021
Microsoft never implemented a technical solution for Minecraft, so you need to be 19 to register an Xbox account and play in the country. https://t.co/ol7qZQJsM6
Other games do comply with the shutdown law and have implemented technical solutions which block minors during the designated time.— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) July 6, 2021
There are movements dedicated to eradicating this law, which is not very effective in 2021. It will probably be amended in the future.
The Minecraft restrictions have caused South Korean users to start a petition against the law, reading: "Korea's game market is at the risk of being the world's only place where Minecraft is labeled as an adult game." The petition reportedly had over 67,000 signatures as of July 6, according to Korea's Yonhap News Agency.
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