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Korea considers blocking minors from playing online games for over 3 hours

Korea considers blocking minors from playing online games for over 3 hours

January 27, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

South Korea's Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is reportedly reviewing a policy that would ban minors' accounts if they played online games for more than two hours consecutively, or a total of three hours in a day.

While there is already a shutdown law in place preventing children aged under 18 years old from playing online games during a late-night six-hour block, MEST's rationale for the policy is that game addiction comes from how long kids play games, not when they play them.

Critics are arguing that this new policy, along with the existing shutdown law and the recently implemented selective shutdown law, constitutes a "triple regulation" of the game industry in Korea -- and that MEST's theories on game addiction haven't been medically proven.

"If the game industry is really a troublemaker, then the related government [groups] should discuss it and provide guidelines to instruct us," said an unnamed game industry representative, according to a report from Korean industry news site This Is Game.

The official added, "Making similar policies from three different ministries does not make any sense at all. The two shutdown systems of the [Ministry of Gender Equality and Family] and the [Ministry of Culture Sports and Tourism] should be repealed if MEST's regulation is reasonable."

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