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Korea's Cinderella Law - Can It Really Prevent Game Addiction?

In 2011, Korean teenage gamers might rush into the pumpkin carriage at every midnight before they get disengaged from the magic, due to a new Korean law.

Cinderella Law, Can It Really Prevent the Game Addiction?

In 2011, Korean teenage gamers might rush into the pumpkin carriage at every midnight before they get disengaged from the magic.

Korean government MCST(Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism) and MGEF(Ministry of Gender Equality and Family) have agreed with a bill of forcible shutdown of online game for children under age 16. If it passes from the National Assembly, all Korean gamers under age 16 cannot play an online game from midnight to 6 a.m.

The Cinderella Law, as it forcibly shutdown the game at midnight, is made to prevent children who cannot stop playing online games overnight from game addiction as bad effects of it get exposed via media continuously.

In last April, MGEF addressed the game addiction destroys the social order and most of criminals are 20~30 ages which have played games since they were teenagers.

Moreover they insisted today’s gamers will likely have worsen game addiction for sure because they have begun playing games at the age of 4 or 5 which is much younger than which today’s criminal have begun playing at.

Since the restricted subjects are only limited to online game genre, the Cinderella Law is already useless and far from MGEF’s intention. Simply saying, games located abroad, borrowed/pirated ID, or offline video games are not under control of the Cinderella Law.

Was Banning Games the Only Way?

In the U.S. or Japan, private organizations or game industries approach the game addiction issue autonomously while legal and forced means are used for this issue in China or Thailand.

In S. Korea, both autonomous and legal means are running parallel but it seems helpless according to a legislative examiner’s view, “the middle school student who murdered own mother and committed suicide had gotten treatment and counsel from a professional organization but it could not help him out. Better professional treatment courses must be developed and popularized (in order to prevent such incident.)”

A gamer indicated “a simple regulation is meaningless as prohibiting smoking and alcohols for teenagers does not actually prevent them from doing so. Distinguishing the origin, researching the fundamental solution, and creating likely environment are needed.”

In fact, the forcible shutdown law is not a big issue. Many students will actually stop playing the online games if the servers go down. But the reason game industry and gamers are blaming government’s attitude toward considering the solution for game addiction is it is nothing more than an administrative action.

I guess suggesting a solution that leads game companies’ autonomous participation or finding a solution from outside of game would be very welcome to game people.

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