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South Korea lifts controversial gaming curfew after nearly a decade

Summary: South Korea is lifting the controversial online gaming curfew that was imposed nearly a decade ago. The Youth Protection Act Revision Act, commonly referred to as the Cinderella Act or the Closure Act, made it illegal for video game vendors to provide internet games to children under the age of 16 from 12 to 6 a.m.

The korea herald reports that the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family have recently announced their decision to amend the law out of respect for the rights of youth.

Unsurprisingly, the Korea Gaming Industry Association (K-GAMES) praised the government for its decision. “We support and welcome the abolition of the stopping law,” the organization said.

(Representatives from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Ministry of Gender and Family Affairs speak during an online press conference held in Seoul on Wednesday. Image courtesy of Yonhap.)

The South Korean government passed a controversial law in May 2011, and it went into effect the same year. Starting in September 2014, parents can request that their children be rid from this law.

The idea was to protect the country’s youth from over-gaming and, with some luck, prevent the addition of games before it becomes a problem. The Korea Herald notes that offenders face heavy fines and up to two years in prison.

In hindsight, it seems like the government might have figured something out, since gambling disorder was officially recognized by the World Health Organization in 2019.

To update the law, the government will have to revise the aforementioned Youth Protection Law. This is not expected to happen until the end of the year at the National Assembly.


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