Korea Bans Late Night Gaming Amidst “MMORPG Epidemic”

lineage-2-sunset-by-kanzeon

Hysteria over children being led astray by the temptations of MMORPGs has prompted Korea to enact legislation banning youths from late night MMORPG sessions.

A supposed epidemic of “game addiction” reaching 7% of the nation’s schoolchildren, some 510,000 children, has prompted the government to ban underage players from playing a selection of popular MMORPGs, including “Maple Story,” “Barameui Nara” and “Mabinogi.”

The ban is to be implemented by forcing gamers to choose a 6 hour period running from 12AM-6AM, 1AM-7AM, or 2AM-8AM.

Additionally, game makers are gradually being forced to implement “fatigue” systems in RPG titles, reducing drop rates or similar if the player spends a long period in game.

19 games are to be included in the “fatigue” system, thought to cover some 80% of the country’s market for online games, though some have noted that such popular titles as Lineage have escaped inclusion for now.

Korea’s legislation is similar in scope to that adopted in China, which has long scapegoated games as subversive elements, placing the nation in good company indeed.

The Korean government and mass media appear silent on the issue of whether parents actually bear any responsibility for what their children do at night – it seems not.

Leave a Comment

117 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    The solution is easy: no internet for kids up to 11 or 12 years.

    I mean all you need is to not give the kids an ethernet cable or a wlan-antenna and they won’t be able to access the i-net at all. Seriously, kids don’t need the internet (at least we didn’t need it in our grade school/early high school days, so there’s no excuse to let your children go online) since the school doesn’t force you to reports until you’re at an age where you can gather reliable information(and even then,books are still better references <_<).

    The internet is far worse than plating MMORPGs though, because while you're in another world, at least you're save from the perverts that lurk out there like child abusers,porn distributors, sects and cults, drug sellers and specific political organizations that are lurking everywhere out there (not to mention the hackers and other criminal identities…).

    So the best solution would be to force the parents to ban their kids from using the internet via law. That way,nobody's gonna get harmed in any way (I seriously doubt that just banning MMORPGS would help, maybe they will just roam the net instead at night and get on suspicious sites like facebook/twitter/etc.).

  • What’s the point? This only limits the elementary school tards.

    Middle school grade 3, i can use my parent’s Social number to make an adult account, which does not carry the inconveniences of a minor’s acc.

    And it’s 19 in korea, though the actual age is pretty much the same. This ban won’t do shit.

  • TRUST. YOUR. GOVERNMENT. THEY. KNOW. BETTER. THAN. YOU.

    Government have millions of “ADVISORS” and “TACTICIANS” and “COMMITTEES” and “SENATE PANEL HEARINGS”

    Government have Unlimited resources and can do everything for you like;

    Providing Food, Shelter, and Jobs
    Health Care
    Low Mortgage rates
    A Bright Shiny Future without pain or suffering

    And most importantly – The Government has;

    Change
    Hope
    Future

    Do you need anything else/ I think Not =D

    I’m Barack Obama and i approved this message.

  • Anon 2035

    Parent should tell the kids to use computer at age of 11.

    The reason for that is they dont even know how to protect the computer and search the web carefully.

    Parenting is not easy as you think. it takes a lot of responsibility and hardship.

    Besides if you decide as a single, that’s fine. however, it gets boring and lonely.

  • Fuck that, if the “parents actually doing parenting” line really worked in the practical world, it wouldn’t have to be repeated all the time. Too easy to say, not so easy to do and enforce.

    What, you think you guys are geniuses for figuring that out? I think you’re all idiots for saying it all the time and yet failing to ever see it work.

  • Sucks to be a kid in Korea, then doesn’t it.
    At the same time, though, there really isn’t a need for a bunch of little kids to be up playing MMO’s past midnight anyways. Whatever happened to sleeping?

  • Hahahahha, how does the government think it’s going to impose this ban? by blocking ports for those titles at those times? Kids are intuitive these days, not to mention it should be up to the parents not the government.. then again this IS Korea we’re talking about, albeit South Korea..

    • I would imagine they just make the developers modify the game so that it blocks access during one of those three periods. As for which one, it’s pick your own poison (or salvation as they see it). Same for the fatigue system. Make the developers modify it or press charges against the company.

      • I see this being overturned very quickly by a court challenge in South Korea. These things simply do not work in the real world and are too easy to get around by someone lying about their age.

  • There is really little what a parent can do in Korea. Here’s an example: My younger cousin, who happens to live in Korea, is super addicted to computer games. This is to the point where if his parents were to stop him from using the computer at night, he would sneak out to a near by 24/7 PC cafe to play games. He’s at the point where if they try to restrict him further, he would run away from home. This has nothing to do with my aunt or my uncle, they’re both great people who are constantly trying to bring my cousin around, but with little luck because he is simply too addicted.

    A lighter example: My friend, when he was in high school, he would play Diablo II and Counterstrike all day and night. His mom did everything she could to stop him, like hide the computer cables, catch him at 4 am playing, etc. but he would always somehow find a way to get on the computer. This is what addiction does and a parent could only do so much.

    The point here is that this is a common phenomena in Korea. Too many kids are addicted, and unless anyone has actually seen these kid and know anyone who is directly affected, I don’t think anyone here has the right to criticize the late night ban for kids.

    • Bullshit they are just weak. All they have to do is not pay the monthly cost for the MMORPG and he won’t be able to play it at home. They can put a BIOS password also so he can’t enter the computer if they are worried about free games.
      If he starts sneaking out to go to internet cafes then just don’t give him money. Internet cafe is not free, where does he find the money to pay for it?
      And that’s that. If he runs away he will come back after two days when he realizes that with out them there is no warm bed and nice food on the table. Suddenly game playing will seem less important.
      They are just spoiling there children by letting them do anything they want.

  • The problem is: Korea is literally FILLED with late-night internet cafes where youths converge to play video games together. (Mostly FIFA and SC). Video Game addiction is a hard thing for parents to combat because the availability of it outside of their home. Even if they ban video games, they can still go to an internet cafe and spend 1 dollar/1hour.

  • Schrobby said:
    Lazy parents should do some actual parenting…

    Get back to us when you actually have a teenager eh 🙂

    Personally I love it. I think they should set it up for everyone though.

    Kids are not the only idiot gamers out there.

    • RopeXPantsu says:

      >Get back to us when you actually have a teenager eh 🙂

      I once was a teenager MYSELF and I didn’t play games all night. My parents would have taken away my computer if they had caught me.
      Since that method worked with me when I was younger, I don’t see a reason why it shouldn’t work on other teenagers.

      • Not everyone is like you. Addiction means that you’re dependent on the substance, in this case computer games. Some people, when it comes to needing that said substance, becomes more obsessive. In high stressed society like Japan or Korea, it’s a whole new level.

  • I think this is pretty reasonable…
    Who is the target? 9 year olds? Hardly.
    Parents can control 9 year old behavior.
    We’re talking about 14-18 year olds.
    The age group where half of the girls in Korea and Japan are out having sex for money so they can buy Loius Vitton and Coach bags.

    If they can’t control who their daughters sleep with how can they control when their sons game?

    High schoolers forced to sleep 6 hours a night?
    Doesn’t seem so bad.

    They’re not forcing this on adults, just kids who should be in bed after 2am. Or at least starting on their homework by that time.

    Lineage isn’t popular with high schoolers. It’s played mostly by adults.

    But I’m not a good authority on this anyway, since I’m not a MMORPG player. I’m too busy sleeping with teenage Asian girls.

  • LanceRayne says:

    *yawn*
    when the gov steps in and pushes their blindsided views, their isn’t much to do about it. however, if the parent was a parent then there would not be an issue… alas it now comes to money again.
    sigh
    and anime/manga isn’t an addiction, it’s a right of passage that lasts forever.
    LOL

  • The “fatigue” system should be standard. Otherwise playing the game without sacrificing your life (if you have one) is kind of difficult. In fact, it should be sufficient to get 2h playtime per day, but then again the whole concept is to get the players spending their life/money on it.

    btw I propose to BAN CHILDREN from the interwebz. Solves all problems in one ban.

    • No, the fatigue system should not be standard. It just pisses off people like myself who have more than 2 hours per day to play the game, who go “WTF are these people trying to dictate to me how long I spend playing a game?”

  • And to think that all that time you waste on a game is vanishing into thin air. Just imagine, that if you invest that time to make some advancements in your life, how much more enjoyable it could be? Wouldnt you want to have fit body, a cute girl, a car, a nice job? So having a non-existent 80 lvl character, who exist purely in your brain, and in some bits on HDD, is better, right?

    • i have thought of this too.

      1 i hate muscle, i want to be a twig, but im also fat. so i tried to excersize, and without instant results, like im able to lift 1 pound more after the workout and rest, or something tangible, i cant keep at it for more than 2 weeks. if there was something that could show me what i was doing was paying off instead of just making me tired id do it. ever see the strong man competitions? what if my body build is that of a extremely strong fat guy? EFFORT WASTED

      2 i hate “cute girls” because they know they are cute and can get away with more shit and can be more demanding. i prefer a nice 6-7 girl over a 10, because i find them more enjoyable to be around, and honesly a 6-7 isnt hard to get.

      3 a car gets me from point a to b, and moves stuff i buy, so long as it has heating, cooling, working stereo, and gets 30 miles to a gallon, im happy, fuck the expensive cars that get shit mileage.

      4 i cant have a job that i like, because i am incapable of doing them. tried to learn Japanese so i could be a translator. tried to be an artist, but i need some amount og god given skill to even make a livable income with that. and honestly don’t get me started with game making. making things for a game for people more talented than you, would kill me more than what i do now, its hard to explain but it nets me 30$ an hour, and lots of over time.

      all in all i hate life, but a mmo where i can at the very least have a goal i can actually accomplish is a great thing to have.

      • @Anon 01:21

        1. Okay, so you’re a fat guy. If I was fat, I’d rather be a _strong_ fat guy, but, everyone’s got their priorities.

        2. Don’t hate a group (in this case, ‘cute girls’) just because some of them are manipulative, etc. I’ve met cute girls who are nice. But, your comment about “6-7” girls is generally true.

        3. I have the same philosophy.

        4. Try more effectively to find out the overlap between things you like to do, and things you’re good at doing, and things that someone will pay you to do. (I’m not suggesting you start a website “www.fatguyfapsonwebcam.com” or anything. [But if you’re okay with doing that, there’s probably lots of people who would pay to see it {shudder}].)

  • Can someone enlighten me on how/why multiple accounts will be the result of this ban? I thought that key stats like levels, experience, reps and what not aren’t interchangeable between accounts that is you can’t share them between the 2 and they will always remain separate. So whats the point of that?

  • Shiro_Amada says:

    This is not going to stop the players from playing, it’s just gonna piss ’em off. And my guess is that some are going to open multiple game accounts, so that they can play for 12 hours straight- they’ll just switch from one game acc to another.

    As for the parents, I know how me and my my lil’ bro went- when they placed a video game interdiction, we’d just wait for them to go to work, and start playing. Then they’d take the keyboard, and we’d buy a spare, then they’d place a password on the OS and I would crack it, and so on… You can NEVER prevent a game addict from playing. You can just piss him off.

    In the end my parents took away my PC, because they thought that’d help, but then I would just go to a net café, or play games on my (secret) portable console, or cellphone.

    I’m 20 now, and I think I’m finally over the whole “game addiction” thing, but now I’m addicted to manga and anime… LOL!

    • It’s a fucking joke to remove the password on XP. I know my parents used to take away my keyboard and mouse (lol wireless), so I just used my old keyboard that’s sitting in the storage room and go use my other computers mouse. Considering if they would try to put a password on anything, I could just turn off the computer and just disconnect the fucking SATA cable from the hard drive with the OS, and password protect the BIOS. They’re too computer illiterate to even know how to reset the bios, hell they can barely even turn on the TV.

    • Hi5 bro

      You’re in a better situation than me… I am addicted to both, and when I play a game I feel like watching anime… and when I watch anime I feel like there’s a boss raid coming, and it makes me confused D:

  • So now they’ll need to play even more thanks to the reduction of drop rates, and they’ll need to play twice as many accounts/characters because they can still play the second character while the first one is tired and suffers from those reduced rates safely.
    Way to make the games even harder and more time consuming.
    Raising the drop/exp rates so people actually need to spend less time in the game didn’t even occur to them as a possibility?

    • hahaha true.When the goverment needs parenting their children,then parents aren’t being functional parents.But isn’t this more of a free choice by parents if they want to make it a late night ban or not??
      Or will absolutely everyone who is under 18 have to follow this,regardles if some parents wouldn’t ban that time.

      • Normally I’d say this is too much government control, but this is getting to be a serious problem. Too many kids are passing out or worse because of game addiction, and the parents are doing a terrible job by letting it happen.

        • 08:27 anon is pretty much right, MMO’s are designed to drop that cheese early, and often, what rat would want to race when all it needs to do is pull a few levers
          Peeps need a purpose to live for so…..
          Lets see, God is dead, world hunger, population overgrown, a goal to work for…..
          WWIII anyone? anyone?

        • It isn’t just the parent’s fault though. I mean, yes they can slap the kid around and make him achieve A grades until he’s 18, but then what?
          The fact that doing real things in today’s society can’t even compare to the accomplishment people feel in a fantasy, is where the root of the problem lies.
          Education = boredom. Career = slavery. Chances are, even if you work yourself ’til your flesh drops from your bones, you won’t achieve anything. Even if you’re a hard worker, you won’t achieve more than feeding other hard workers. Even if you’re very smart, whether you’ll really discover something or do boring lab work with minor outcome the rest of your life is a matter of luck. Mostly bad luck. And so on.
          There is a serious lack of great motivating things for 90% of the population. And that’s gotta change, because otherwise people will lock themselves up in video games.

        • This is absurd.

          Once again the government tries to fix the problem and ends up doing completely the wrong thing.

          The problem isn’t the games! It’s the bloody parents.
          Ban the games? NO, BAN YOUR VAGINA UNTIL YOU CAN CONTROL WHAT COMES OUT OF IT!

      • Lolicon x moeness says:

        We humans tend to use the easier options don’t we? And losers, in the end, they’ll start their sentences with “what if” or/and “if only”…

        The only thing it will do is, parents’ pensions will be reduced in the end due to recession, due to their children who don’t earn any money at all. What is wrong with that? xP

        or at least in England..or correct me if I am wrong >.<