South Korea takes video game addiction very seriously. You may have already heard about the South Korean man who died after a 50-hour gaming marathon. Or the South Korean baby who suffocated to death while her parents played at an internet cafe.
In response, the country's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has come up with a a pair of new policies that they hope will curb online gaming addiction among their youth.
One of the measures involved is the "nighttime shutdown" where underage gamers will be automatically blocked from online access to games for six hours once the clock strikes midnight. They say midnight but gamers are actually given a choice between three blackout periods: midnight to 6 AM, 1 to 7 AM, and 2 to 8 AM.
The nighttime shutdown will commence in the second half of the year. It will cover popular online games like Maple Story and Mabinogi.
Another method currently being tested slows internet connection speeds down to a crawl if an underage gamer plays for a long enough period of time.
Four RPGs are currently being used to test this "slowdown" method. This number will eventually be increased to a total of 19 RPGs which reportedly represents almost 80% of South Korea's domestic online game market. Interestingly enough, some of the country's most popular MMORPGs like Lineage are apparently not included.