South Korea To Impose Overnight Bans On MMO Gaming

Wracked by sensational news reports that have made the nation a caricature for games addiction, South Korea is imposing throttling and even six-hour blackouts on 19 MMOs comprising 79 per cent of the local market.

The squelching comes courtesy of the nation's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and does allow gamers to choose a window in which they won't have access - midnight to 6am, 1am to 7am or 2am to 8am. For MMO players with an all-night habit, this measure's clearly meant to kick it for them. Throttling will also kick in if an underage user is logged on for a lengthy period of time.

If you're wondering how the government can do this, it's tied to heavy government regulation and something called a "resident registration number", which I guess is used at all levels of online registration, MMOs included. And the 19 games involved probably aren't happy about having access restricted, but still have to play ball or not do business at all.

It's not to say the measure has no critics; they complain that MMOs are being unfairly singled out and kids will just find a way to get online some other way.

The restrictions begin in the second half of the year. They cover such games as Barameui Nara Maple Story, Mabinogi and the very popular Dungeon & Fighter and Dragon Nest.

The regulation answers a litany of bad press related to gaming addiction in the country, most notably the case of parents who let their actual infant starve while they took care of a virtual baby in an MMO.

Midnight Ban Imposed on Online Games [Korea Herald via Hot Blooded Gaming]


    I think it is fair enough, the fact that this is necessary for some addicts justifies it in my mind.

      This is absolutely *not* fair enough. Ban/block people shown by a court to have a problem - fine. Blocking all people because some people are idiots is just typical government mollycoddling.

        I wouldn't be suprised if the crime right rises,
        shut off a form of addiction, another addiction will takes its place.

        What if that other form of addiction is drugs or worse? I think their internet gaming addiction is keeping their crime rates low... lol

    Can't trust your populace to make the right decision? Why educate when you can regulate!

    While you could view this as another step down the road of the world slowly getting less intelligent because of less challenges and less personal responsibility, I think it's more iconic of culture/s internal vision of themselves and their governing bodies.

    It's similar to the website restriction proposal here in Australia, the government doesn't trust parents to make sure their kids aren't watching some woman blow a goat, but only because some people shy from personal responsibility and the lobby groups only focus on the small percentage of 'horror stories' rather than the millions of people who get along just fine.

    That left over 21% of MMOs are rubbing their hands together.

    Typical government ham-fisted approach.

    I'm not entirely against the idea, but what about shift workers that work during the night and come home during those times? Thats pretty rough.

    They can choose the 1am-7am window, that's clearly fine.

      I think he means shift workers that don't have a set timetable.

      Some jobs rotate times which means one week would be game on and the next would be come home and cry!

        Possibly an opt-out system is the solution here.

        Schwolop suggested only banning people with a proven addiciton and as much as I favour innocent until proven guilty it would be totally unenforcable.

        Besides it's not like the internet filter in Aus where opting out apparently makes you a pedophile. Opting out here just says I work during the night so you other people don't have to.


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