In this 2020 photo, a gamer from Seoul, South Korea plays on a then newly purchased PlayStation 5.
After ten years, South Korea banned its “shutdown law” which prohibited children under the age of sixteen from playing video games for six hours after midnight.
Officially known as the Youth Protection Revision Act, the law was passed by the South Korean National Assembly in the spring of 2011. It came into force in November.
At the time, the law was initially supposed to have no impact on consoles. However, as Kotaku reported at the time, Sony Computer Entertainment of Korea announced that it would take PSN offline for underage players as required by law. The law appeared to target online PC games, designed to ensure that young people across the country get at least six hours of sleep. However, both Sony and Microsoft’s gaming platforms have been affected. Companies that break the law could be fined up to 10 million won ($ 8,560) and even face up to two years in prison.
According to the South Korean government, China is the only other country to have government-controlled gaming hours. This changes, because as The herald of Korea reports, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Ministry of Gender and Family have decided to abolish the law.
“For young people, games are a leisure activity and an important communication channel,” Culture Minister Hwang Hee said. “I hope that preventive measures can respect the rights of young people and encourage healthy home education.”
Ministries say they will protect children through the “system of choice,” which allows children, their parents or legal guardians to apply for gambling permits for certain hours.
“In the changing media environment, the ability of children to decide for themselves and protect themselves has become more important than anything,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Yoo Eun-hae said (via Korea’s time.) “We will work with relevant ministries to systematically support education in media and the use of games in schools, homes and in society so that young people can develop these capacities, and continue to make efforts to create a healthy play environment and various leisure activities. for kids.”
The Korea Gaming Industry Association supports the decision, saying, “The shutdown system has stifled the country’s gaming industry for a long time despite continued criticism of low efficiency, violation of children’s rights and the weakening of the competitiveness of the industry.
The ruling demands that the old youth protection law be overhauled, and the government aims to do so by the end of the year.