Tuesday, April 13, 2010

S. Korea wants gamers to sleep, introduces curfew

Anyone who plays video games knows it can be hard to put down the controller and get to bed. For children in South Korea logging off may no longer be a choice.

The nation’s Culture Ministry is stepping in with policies aimed at curbing addiction and ending all-night video game marathons.

Proposed is a nationwide curfew that would ban minors from playing online games from midnight until 8 a.m. The plan would also slow down internet connections during long gaming sessions.

The policies follow several well-publicized gaming-related deaths. In 2005, a 28-year-old man died of exhaustion after playing the popular computer game Starcraft for 50 hours straight. Earlier this year an infant starved to death while her parents were at an internet café raising a virtual child online.

Game companies play a central role in the South Korean government plan. Officials are asking the game makers to track underage players using their national identity numbers. The companies would notify parents if the child spent long lengths of time online.

Long video game sessions have been linked to sleep loss.

Image Courtesy Kim Pierro

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