A good while ago, South Korea decided to create a law that prohibits Koreans under the age of 16 from playing online games during certain times of the night. Original reports said that the law would not affect console gamers, but Sony’s Korean branch said that they would disallow minor’s access to the PSN in order to comply with the law.
The law was only supposed to affect PC games but this was changed to have an effect on consoles. The intentions of the law are to limit game addiction among South Korean children and to make sure they have no online games between midnight and 6am. Three days from now on the 18th of November, Sony’s Korean branch will disallow players under 16 from making accounts in order to circumvent the law.
In unrelated news, a psychic on the street told me that PSN memberships in Korea will go up by 400% tomorrow.
Sony and Microsoft have stated that it’s difficult to implement such a system in such a short frame of time. Sony likewise said that they don’t know when the system will be compliant and they said they will handle the Vita at a later date. Things that complicate enforcement are the fact that anyone can lie about their age (I have been over 18 for the past eight years and I’m 22), and that Microsoft doesn’t actively collect data for ages in Korea. Nintendo has yet to comment on how they plan to enforce the law.
The intentions of this law are good, and are surprising considering that online gaming is a massive deal in South Korea. Enforcing it however is going to be near-impossible, and the law will be added to the long list of dumb laws the world has as it is repeatedly violated.
The smartest way to enforce it would be to require a form of ID to sign up, but even then it wont work well.