South Korea To Shut Some Video Games Off For Six Hours Every Night

from the go-to-sleep dept

For quite some time, authorities in South Korea have contended that a lot of kids there are addicted to the internet. One of the more misguided steps take to try and "cure" these kids was to put them in a boot camp where they couldn't use computers, but apparently that effort failed. So, now, the government is mandating a six-hour nightly curfew (via Gizmodo) for 19 online role-playing games that account for 79 percent of the Korean online game market. Apparently the curfew will help "eradicate video game addiction", and will apply only to underage users. However, it's not clear how the government will ensure users are accurately representing their age. It'll be great that some kids will be prompted to get their sleep, but once again, it seems like the curfew will just treat a symptom, not the underlying problem that leads people to get unhealthily immersed in online games.


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  1.  
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    btrussell (profile), Apr 16th, 2010 @ 3:14am

    "...not the underlying problem that leads people to get unhealthily immersed in online games."

    What is this "unhealthy problem."

    A friend of mine is concerned about his son. But this same boy plays hours of road hockey everyday. I fail to see the problem.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2010 @ 3:40am

    I think they'll need to block the internet altogether for those few hours. I'd be willing to bet that the honest kids will simply move to an unblocked game.

    Then you mix in a huge incentive to present yourself as older, and this bill is almost entirely useless. It will simply be annoying to a few people who weren't interested enough in a game to figure out a way around it, but those people weren't the ones with the problem.

     

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    Getefix, Apr 16th, 2010 @ 4:01am

    Reality Check

    When people "escape" it is because reality sucks for them. Most societies suck and are getting worse. Fix the damn societies. But nobody is going to do that. Self-criticism is painful and hard. So you might as well play the fiddle in WoW as Rome burns. Nobody is going to get off their ass to get a bucket.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2010 @ 4:30am

    Re: Reality Check

    I agree the problem is with society, but not that it sucks. The problem is what's perceived acceptable and healthy and what isn't.

    For example, in many societies if a child engages in hours and hours of sports related activity, that is usually considered healthy and commended. Similarly, if a child spends all their time playing a musical instrument. But as soon as you put "online" into the equation, suddenly it's some evil, unhealthy activity that must be eradicated.

     

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  5.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Apr 16th, 2010 @ 4:43am

    well the reasons that internet and video gaming have that level of addiction is that, for the first time in history, you can be addicted to something that doesn't outright kill you. People, all people, have "addicting" personalities, it is how we cope with life and all it's failures. It has been this way for untold centuries. Video gaming is a way to cope with that in a, while maybe not positive, relatively non-lethal way. I say let the children play.
    All I am saying is that video games are like crack.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2010 @ 5:09am

    in S Korea they have an ID system similar to the US's social security number. when players sign up for certain games they have to enter their number. i think there will be quite a few kids who have used their parents IDs when signing up and its very easy to get hold of one. A few years ago a game was released in S Korea that i felt like playing, on the signup was the SSN input field, a quick google search and you have a number.
    Its quite dificult for us to comment on S korea due to how pervasive the internet is in their country, its easy to say its the parents responsability but this is the same country were 2 parents left their child to starve because they were "raising" a virtual child.

     

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    taoareyou (profile), Apr 16th, 2010 @ 5:18am

    Re:

    The problem is more than a fringe percentage of the population plays online games obsessively, to the point they are not getting enough sleep.

    The government is treating the problem as if it's online gaming, when the real problem is the obsessive behavior.

     

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  8.  
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    JohnForDummies (profile), Apr 16th, 2010 @ 5:26am

    Re:

    Well...non-lethal for most: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4137782.stm

    Everything in moderation, my friend, everything in moderation.

     

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    Rob, Apr 16th, 2010 @ 5:36am

    Oh to be a parent and to sit back and let goverments look after your children... The life.

     

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    Rakisak (profile), Apr 16th, 2010 @ 6:54am

    Personally, I hope my kid does get into games. I would rather him sit at home than roam the streets. I live in a not so good neighborhood and a kid could get himself into a lot of trouble. If my kid is sitting at home I know he is safe.
    Also, how many hours of tv do people watch? Zoned out like a zombie staring at the tv. At least games have multiplayer and you can still interact with people and keep your mind active.

     

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    senshikaze (profile), Apr 16th, 2010 @ 7:13am

    Re: Re:

    especially moderation.

     

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  12.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Apr 16th, 2010 @ 7:16am

    Re:

    the difference? video games are new and scary, while tv has been around for over 50 years. i bet if you go back tot he early-mid fifties, yoyu will see alot of news articles how the "devils own machine", the Television Set, will corrupt our youth, bankrupt our nation, rape our villages, and pillage our women.
    what comes around goes around(and around and around, etc)

     

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    Free Capitalist (profile), Apr 16th, 2010 @ 7:20am

    Re: Re:

    the real problem is the obsessive behavior


    And poor parenting, and an ever-shortening list of legal engaging experiences in the outdoors, and widespread social-anxiety disorder, counter-narcissistic revulsion, and on and on.

    But yeah.. playing a game non-stop is absolutely behavior of the individual.

    'tao' do you think the government should be involved in regulating stupid but non-criminal behavior?

    After all, is not the best government the one that does not govern at all?

     

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  14.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Apr 16th, 2010 @ 7:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    the logical end of that argument is that the best government is the one that doesn't exist.

     

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  15.  
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    Greg, Apr 16th, 2010 @ 7:36am

    Re: Reality Check

    WoW@the power of positive thinking in that comment..

     

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  16.  
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    mrtraver (profile), Apr 16th, 2010 @ 7:37am

    Re: Reality Check

    "Self-criticism is painful and hard. So you might as well play the fiddle in WoW as Rome burns. Nobody is going to get off their ass to get a bucket."

    Best comment I am going to read today! May I used that as my Facebook status?

     

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  17.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Apr 16th, 2010 @ 7:44am

    Re: Re:

    Mostly it was burn out your eyeballs, give you cancer, melt your brain, make you stupid, kill off newspapers, kill off theaters, that kind of thing.

     

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  18.  
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    Michael, Apr 16th, 2010 @ 8:56am

    Wait...

    Shouldn't these kids be working for a penny a month in sweat shops during the day? How are they going to get any WoW in if the 6 hours a day they are allowed to rest is blocked out on them?

     

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    Chrissy, Apr 16th, 2010 @ 9:05am

    Won't this just cause games like World of Warcraft to lose players and upstarts and unpopular games to gain players? The games outside of those 19 are probably very happy.

     

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  20.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Apr 16th, 2010 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: Re:

    and let me guess:
    newspapers and movie theater both went through the same thing in their time. I know that play actors in the 1850s were considered "the devils children" (it was actually a pretty big scandal that Lincoln loved the theater so much). everything is considered evil by the previous generation. in my opinion, though, video games have gotten a really bad rap for a very long time. almost what 40 years? the tv and internet took less than a decade to become household words, but video games are still considered "evil"

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2010 @ 10:55am

    When I was growing up, video games were in their infancy. We only had three TV channels, one of which was in French. Since being cooped up indoors was so very boring and tends to make children a nuisance for their parents, outdoors is where we were sent more often than not. Parents always think fresh air and exercise with your friends will do you good. If they only knew the truth. You know that saying, idle hands are the devils playground? If you ever find yourself wondering where the majority of vandalism comes from, now you know. Now imagine what the here and now would be like if all of these kids playing video games regularly were suddenly let loose on the real world all at once...

     

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  22.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Apr 16th, 2010 @ 11:09am

    Re:

    Cogent.

     

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  23.  
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    thornintheside, Apr 16th, 2010 @ 1:48pm

    These 19 games have just jumped in popularity in S. Korea

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2010 @ 2:08pm

    I think the point everyone is failing to see here is that the reason this curfew is being imposed is because gaming addiction is so bad over there that, adults are dying are over there because they game themselves to death.

    they're not treating it as some witchhunt, they're treating it like a public health crisis.

     

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  25.  
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    jkim, Apr 16th, 2010 @ 2:36pm

    In respect to the age business, people in Korea have to put in their social security numbers when signing up for games or websites, so it will be difficult to fake one to fake age.

     

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  26.  
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    xbox360games, Apr 16th, 2010 @ 5:33pm

    hi there

    I was hoping to see some more examples. May be if you could create some more and show us mortals some tricks ;)

     

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  27.  
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    Jon, Apr 22nd, 2010 @ 6:56pm

    Video Games

    There is a great article on MyJobChart that addresses this issue and how parents can do a better job at helping their kids strike a balance. Personally I think that their is a lot that can be learned from computer games. But like so many have already said, moderation is the key.

     

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  28.  
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    John, Apr 23rd, 2010 @ 8:00am

    Video Games

    I never doubted this would really happen in South Korea. I know a lot of kids are addicted to online gaming. In fact, they have a lot of talented people who are behind creating these online games. Ragnarok online is just one of these games and yet until now a lot of people are still addicted to it.

     

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