- South Korea has ended a ten-year ban on gaming in specific hours for underage individuals
- The country is still planning for safeguards for the groups of gamers it considers at risk
- Gambling addiction is a problem in Asian countries with China also enforcing a similar ban on gaming
A ten-year ban prohibiting gaming for gamers U-16 between midnight and 6 am has been lifted in South Korea.
Gaming in South Korea Gets Freer
South Korea has lifted its gaming curfew for gamers under 16 who were previously prohibited to play between midnight and 6 am. Even though it has taken 10 years, the ban is finally over, and teenagers can feel a little freer in choosing their own times to play, the Korea Herald has reported.
The law was originally introduced in 2011 and it was designed to combat gaming addiction among young children and teenagers. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has however agreed to end the prohibition, backed by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.
The move is also designed to encourage at-home education, but it also factors in the possibility of gamers indulging in gaming by too much. Still, underage players will have to comply with a permit system where in order to play they will still have to be allowed to by a guardian or a parent.
A Thriving Culture of Gaming in South Korea
Asian countries have a well-developed gaming culture. Teenagers and young adults flock to Internet cafes known as “bangs” in South Korea where they can play with their friends. Sometimes, though, games such as League of Legends and Overwatch are played because of “peer pressure,” some youngsters admit.
The South Korean curfew contrasts with a similar one imposed by China which does not allow anyone under 18 to game between the hours of 10 pm and 8 am. In addition, people who are not of the legal age may only game 90 minutes during weekdays and up to three hours on weekends or holidays.
South Korean Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae has said that it's important for children to learn how to make choices for themselves and protect themselves from excessive practices. Still, the minister assured that the government will look for young gamers' best interests.