South Korea Abolishes Gaming Curfew

Many young people enjoy playing computer games or even in online casinos – sometimes their interest in the games starts as early as elementary school. In purely theoretical terms, there is no problem with children playing video games if it remains within limits. South Korea had seen things differently and introduced a nightly curfew for children and young teenagers. Now there has been a rethink and the curfew has been lifted. What is behind this?

This is What the Curfew Looked Like

The curfew set by South Korea did not apply to everyone, of course. 

It was introduced ten years ago to protect children under the age of 16. 

That sounds good so far, but strangely enough, the curfew applied to the time between midnight and 6 am. 

This law was intended to protect children and young adolescents so that they would not develop a gambling addiction. 

However, if that had been the only reason, the gambling ban should have applied during the day as well. 

Because, at the time of the curfew, the children are already in bed.

But the latest results show that this was not the case. 

Children have been playing at night for the past ten years, even though the law was in place. 

Due to this fact, the law has now been abolished again in South Korea. 

As has been publicly announced, this is to be done out of respect for the children and young people. 

Now parents are allowed to decide how much the children play and especially when the children play.

Closing Time Was Circumvented in Various Ways

How did it happen that children and teenagers played video and computer games at night despite the curfew? 

It was apparently quite simple for the children: for example, they logged on to their parents’ account. 

This allowed the children to circumvent the curfew. 

However, this was not the only reason why the offspring used their parents’ account. 

This way, they could use the games that had an age rating.

For example, Microsoft had decided to release the popular open-world game hit Minecraft only from the age of 17. 

However, this had little success when children logged in via their parents’ PCs. 

Such creative ideas from children also led to the law being scrapped. 

It is true that the South Korean government still believes that minors must be protected from gambling addiction. 

Now, however, the supervision is shifted to the parents.

This is also because over several studies it was found that frequent gambling leads to problems at school. 

For example, some children skipped class or neglected their homework. 

If the children and teenagers have a poor school education because of this problem, it creates a general problem. 

This has an impact not only on the offspring, but on society as a whole.

Regulated Selection Program Also Failed to Have an Effect

South Korea has not only tried to prevent gambling addiction among minors by banning gambling at night. 

In addition, there was a selection system that was introduced in 2012. 

With this selection program, parents could choose from seven different game manufacturers. 

A total of 40 games were available to the children. 

However, children could only have used the games that their own parents selected. 

Since this system was not particularly popular either, it is now being revised. 

If it is not successful even then, the selection system could be dropped completely – as could the nighttime ban.

Both mean that in future it will be up to the parents. 

They must ensure that children play less or not at all. To implement this, the government has a few tips:

  • Children should be allowed to play as a reward
  • Play should be limited to a few hours a week

As logical as the tips sound – there could be problems with implementation here as well. 

For sure, the children had already received conditions from their parents, but they did not implement them. 

In addition, the parents had certainly not allowed their computer to be used. 

In the future, access to the parental computer should therefore also be secured.

Alternative Languages: English