South Korea abandons controversial gaming curfew

All night gaming sessions are back on

South Korea is abolishing its controversial gaming law which placed a curfew on the gaming habits of young people.

South Korea’s Shutdown Law, also known as the Cinderella Law, was introduced in 2011 as a way of stopping children and teenagers from staying up all night playing video games online with their friends.

The law meant that anybody under the age of 16 was prohibited from playing online games between the hours of midnight and 6am.

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Since its introduction, the law has proved unpopular as well as controversial – leading to the likes of Minecraft being given an R-rating due to its online multiplayer capability. The game, which is usually recommended for children aged 12 and over, was only allowed to be played by those 19 or over in South Korea as a result of its Xbox Live integration.

Following this high-profile rating mishap, a petition to the South Korean government to remove the Shutdown Law gained over 120,000 signatures.

“The [law] finally stretched out to Minecraft, which is regarded as the epitome of educational and creative games,” reads a translation of the petition. “Korea will become [the only game market] where even Minecraft is reduced to an adult game.”

According to the Korea Herald, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family decided to scrap the law to “respect the rights of youths”.

“For youths, games are an important leisure activity and communication channel,” said Culture Minister, Hwang Hee, “I hope that the preventive measures can respect the rights of the youths and encourage healthy home education.”

A new “Choice Permit” system will now come into effect, allowing families to set their own curfews within individual households. So, while the government curfews are over, teenagers may still find they’re forced to stop gaming by their parents.

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Although the Shutdown Law is now going to be scrapped, it’s unclear when exactly this will happen due to the number of other laws which need to be amended.

Elsewhere, Riot Games has announced Riot Mobile – a new Discord-style app which allows League of Legends and Valorant players to connect with friends.

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