On game shutdown regulation

Let’s talk about esports legislation a little.

While Japan has its own legislation problems, the so called esports developed country South Korea has its own too. Since 2011, the game shutdown regulation, i.e., those who are below 16 years old are banned from accessing online games from 12am-6am, has been started in South Korea. This is possible because many online games in Korea require users to put their DOB information. A violation of the regulation may result in no more than 2 years of imprisonment or no more than 10 million KRW (about 10k USD) to the game publisher/provider.

This regulation caused many ripples to the esports community because

  1. Many esports professional wanna-be’s start very young, considering that the age 25 is considered old school and seriously think about their retirement plan, and by the nature of game, many heavy users are naturally nocturnals. The regulation directly interferes with the talent management perspective of the esports industry.
  2. One can easily fool the regulation by entering their parents’ DOB information at no cost.
  3. But the responsibility is on the game publisher

To simply put, the community was mad about the fact that this new law was created by politicians who don’t understand a thing about the industry and the community at all.

Apparently Thailand has done a similar rule in 2003, but they abandoned it after 2 years of trial because of similar reason like No 2. China had a similar experience.

It’s been 8 years and has it been successful? Honestly I don’t know. This may be a good topic for an interview.

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