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South Korea Blocks Late-Night Online Gaming for Adolescents

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the digital-curfew-keeping-the-zerg-safe dept.

Games 108

PolygamousRanchKid writes "In its effort to curb game addiction among adolescents, South Korea pulled the plug this weekend on young gamers after midnight by blocking access to game websites, putting a hotly debated law into practice. The new system called the 'shutdown law,' also referred to as the 'Cinderella law,' blocks those under the age of 16 from accessing gaming websites after midnight and has fueled heated anger among younger gamers and avid game fans. Critics point out that many teenagers hold gaming accounts created with their parent's personal information, easily providing them with an alternative log-in option. 'You can say someone is an alcoholic if they drink more than three bottles (of liquor) a day, but you can't call them alcoholic because they drink after midnight. It's the same with gaming,' Lee Byung-chan, the lawyer who filed the petition on behalf of parents and a young gamer said. 'From the parents' point of view, it violates their right to educate their children,' Lee added. It is for the parents to decide what time they want to allow their children to play games or not, not for the government to exclude them from that process, the argument goes."

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First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144880)

First

that's ok (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144882)

they forgot to block late night frosty pissing!!!

Another idea (3, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144890)

How about after school programs?
Having people exert themselves mentally or physically actually does make them tired. Games dont do either.

Re:Another idea (5, Insightful)

sahonen (680948) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144992)

If you don't think playing games is mentally exerting, you're not playing the right games. Starcraft in particular is one of the most popular games in South Korea, and is frequently compared to chess.

Re:Another idea (3, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145162)

And, like chess, it has no skills that transfer on later in life. The burnout age for professional starcraft players is under the age of 30. After school programs like chess at least promote some level of socialization (no matter how remote). Sports and other extracurricular activities promote health and socialization, among other things.

Re:Another idea (2)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145240)

'socialization' isn't the only thing to vie for in life. it's a component, not the be-all-end-all. also, many of these kids would be ridiculed if they tried out for athletic teams.

Re:Another idea (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145716)

'socialization' isn't the only thing to vie for in life. it's a component, not the be-all-end-all. also, many of these kids would be ridiculed if they tried out for athletic teams.

That attitude is self-defeating. Any kid can learn a sport well enough to compete if they try. With rare exceptions, high school sports really aren't all that competitive, and if your school does have a top tier team in one sport, you can just aim for another. It's healthy, it builds self-confidence, and it preps you for later in life when you meet new people who might want to do a pickup game of basketball or start a company softball team.

Our culture likes to push this idea that if you're smart you must be an unathletic weakling. It's self-fulfilling. We tell kids that if they're smart, they'd just humiliate themselves by trying out for a team. They believe it, don't try out, and become weak for lack of exercise.

Re:Another idea (2)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 2 years ago | (#38146872)

So you're aiming for sports for the sake of sports? So if I like football but I'm not really good at it, I should consider switching to boxing because it's a niche in my school?
Good job.
Why not actually offer your kids alternatives without pushing them into one direction or other?

Re:Sports and Academics (2)

ChiRaven (800537) | more than 2 years ago | (#38147400)

Our culture likes to push this idea that if you're smart you must be an unathletic weakling. It's self-fulfilling. We tell kids that if they're smart, they'd just humiliate themselves by trying out for a team. They believe it, don't try out, and become weak for lack of exercise.

Funny, we seem to have missed that message. My senior year in high school, the lead player on the state high school basketball championship team (kind of a state religion here in Indiana), who also won the Arthur Trester Award that year as the outstanding individual player was also a National Merit Scholarship Finalist. In fact, the coach coach of that team attributed their victory at least in part to the fact that his team had the highest GPA and highest standardized test scores of any team in the Final Four.

Re:Another idea (3, Insightful)

tixxit (1107127) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148284)

Then don't try out for an athletic team. I used to skateboard after school (it helped we had a skatepark 100m from our school). You can also join houseleague teams or just do your own thing with a friend (eg. tennis). Even if you do try out, I usually find there is a big difference between perception and reality when you fear you may humiliate yourself. I had a friend decide to try out for the school's rugby team on a whim (he was a "weak" nerd type). Turns out he made a great hooker and had a great time on the team that year and made lots of new friends. Regardless, you don't have to be the best at something, or even good at it, to enjoy doing it. Look at all the hoards of bad golfers out there (including me) for proof.

Re:Another idea (4, Insightful)

englishknnigits (1568303) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145308)

Yes, thinking clearly and strategically under pressure has no practical applications. Problem solving skills and thinking critically are also useless. Learning how to smash into someone, hit a round object with a stick, use steroids, and training to the point of causing life long injuries for a 0.001% chance of fame/fortune are much more useful skills. If you actually think about it, pretty much all activities we indulge in are ultimately useless aside from the enjoyment/fulfillment we get from them. Starcraft IS an extracurricular activity that many people get enjoyment/fulfillment from.

Re:Another idea (3, Insightful)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145444)

Sports beyond football have been known to exist - baseball, tennis, swimming etc. If you want to expand beyond that, there's marching band, dance, ballet, cheerleading etc which require more finesse and coordination, but less brute strength. The same skills you list to be learned from SC can be learned on the speech or debate team at any school, and are more directly transferable to jobs. I don't doubt people enjoy SC (otherwise Blizzard may not have existed today) but I have reservations about how well being a top notch SC player translates in to being a successful person in meatspace. Many speech/debate students at the national level end up as successful law students based on the skills they learned through debate.

Re:Another idea (0)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145520)

And what life skills are you learning by posting on Slashdot? Shouldn't you be out working on your debating skills, instead of involved in an activity which, while it may be relaxing and enjoyable, doesn't serve to further equip you for life?

Re:Another idea (4, Insightful)

pandronic (1275276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145798)

How about everyone does what they enjoy in their time? Why does the state or you for that matter think you know what's best for someone else?

Re:Another idea (2)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#38146558)

I agree, the children under discussion here should be allowed to sleep 16 hours a day consume nothing but candy and vodka if they want do. It's bullshit that anyone tries to tell them what to do. WHATEVAH! I DO WHAT AH WANT!

Re:Another idea (3, Insightful)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 2 years ago | (#38146906)

Your comment raises another interesting question: when does someone cease to be a child? At 21, when they are allowed to drink alcohol? At 18, like in Europe? At 16, when they are allowed to drive a car? At 14, when they get their ID card (at least here in RO)? Or are these all, um, I don't know, standard ages that don't really reflect anything?
I remember being more mature at 14 than most of my school mates; I was interested in the same things and activities people aged 20-24 were usually performing (except sex, that was still blurry to me, of course). I was rather lonely at school because of that. Even now, in my low 30s, I would rather spend time with people aged 40+ because they better fit my areas of interest and I have more productive discussions with them.
So please... I was perfectly able to function as an adult at 16. On the other hand, some people can't properly function as adults even after reaching 40.
It's down to the human being itself; so when a government applies a blanket law like this I call bullshit.
"Everyone under age of 16 shouldn't play games after midnight" - probably holds true up to some extent. But actually forbidding it - that's dangerously close to dictatorship.

Re:Another idea (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145436)

Socialization is only important to those who it is important to.

Re:Another idea (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145888)

Wrong, socialization is important for the mental health of all people, even people with autism spectrum disorders.

Re:Another idea (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145936)

"Important" as in "valuable." Different people value different things. And even people who are constantly online get a tiny bit of socialization.

It's up to them to get more.

Re:Another idea (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145950)

Also, I doubt that a person would go insane without any socialization. Depending on the person, that is. If you have someone who doesn't care about socializing (but doesn't mind doing it), and you place them in a world without any people (one that still has food, water, entertainment, etc), I think they'd be fine. I'd say it depends on the person, and I'd be hesitant to use the word "all."

Re:Another idea (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38146930)

So, you're saying that the ability to quickly assess a situation and make strategic decisions isn't useful? Or the ability to mentally track multiple things simultaneously and still being able to function yourself, too? Because I can definitely see use for such skills on multiple areas. Games, especially RTS games, are plenty good for developing skills one needs later in life. You're just too short-sighted to realize that.

Re:Another idea (1)

gslavik (1015381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38147390)

There are athletic sports where an average career lasts for about 3 years (American Football) with skills that do not transfer on later in life.

Re:Chess (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#38147668)

I disagree here about Chess.

There's two time periods: Pre 1995 and 1995-2012 (to go all Mayan about it.)

Pre 1995 chess was about Localism and learning to be a medium fish in small ponds where everyone had the informants and ECO and 12 books, but you could get snookered by a good over the board response you just never saw coming.

1995-2012 chess is about information research, computer pre-checking your repetoire. Sure, it will hasten the decline of chess but come on, it's been in the top 5 durable games ever. That information analysis is a very useful skill, as is managing trees of decision logic.

Re:Another idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148004)

Doesn't translate on later in life?
Tempo maximization is a lesson that I have been applying successfully throughout my career.

Re:Another idea (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38151270)

I know! I love the look on HR's face when they see my actions per minute is over 300. Their eyes just light up, knowing that they have a new zerg rush champ for staff appreciation day.

Re:Another idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38150532)

For that matter, what useful skills do you learn in college?

Re:Another idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38151062)

Then you're not playing right.

Chess has provided me with one of the most important skill, which many people I know, lack of: Think before acting. Should you learn that, perhaps many conflicts can be avoided, software bugs adverted, and even passionate crimes completely avoided.

Tetris (and it's 3D counterpart Block-out), for example, provide spatial relations insight.

The fact that you perhaps, like sports more, doesn't indicate that other activities won't provide skills for later in life. I'm yet to figure what, if any, hitting a bat with a ball can transfer to my life in the future.

Re:Another idea (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145024)

Having people exert themselves mentally or physically actually does make them tired. Games dont do either.

There is plenty of mental exertion in games, particularly the most popular RTS games. And have you ever played Wii, PSMove or Kinect games? Certainly plenty of physical exertion to be had there.

Re:Another idea (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145118)

Hmm... adolescents... late night... why aren't they fucking?

Re:Another idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145218)

They will be now!!

Re:Another idea (3, Insightful)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145128)

Pot circles, keggers, and wild make-out parties are excellent after-school activities for healthy teenagers. Perhaps they could get school district funding.

Re:Another idea (3, Funny)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145164)

Pot circles, keggers, and wild make-out parties

we used to have pot triangles; but for some reason, our weed kept disappearing!

Re:Another idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38146608)

Well I had a pot pyramid, but eventually I ran out of investors

Re:Another idea (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148802)

You could say that it went "up in smoke".

Re:Another idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145150)

How about after school specials? Or better yet, a very special episode of Diff'rent Strokes?

Right word, wrong context. (3, Interesting)

LostMyBeaver (1226054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145988)

The law is almost certainly because the Starcraft, Wow, CoD etc... players are showing up for school each day looking like they're dead on their feet. Then on top of that, a huge number of guys staying up to 4am on a school day watching "The Pro's Play".

In the west we simply assume that the kids who do that will one day make an excellent addition to the staff at McDonalds... After all, if their parents are stupid enough to let their kids stay up late like that on school nights, then the kids are most likely equally worthless... so screw them. Korea on the other hand appears to think that these kids shouldn't be showing up looking dead to school each day, getting poor grades and taking away from the students who will be more motivated.

Now... I on the other hand stayed up until 4am on school days programming and designing electronics which made me utterly worthless in school each day... if I deigned to present myself there at all. I was more interested in learning than attending school (though I did read all the text books cover to cover... hence learning). I'm not quite sure that becoming a better Starcraft player counts as educational though.

Re:Right word, wrong context. (2)

N1AK (864906) | more than 2 years ago | (#38147586)

In the west we simply assume that the kids who do that will one day make an excellent addition to the staff at McDonalds

Nice strawman you've got there. Most people who object to these kinds of government intervention dislike them exactly because they don't want people making judgements about other's actions and intervening. I think a parent who allows there kids to stay up to the early hours on school days is probably making a mistake, it doesn't mean I want the government to try and control it. As to your own bizarre double standards as to what it is ok to avoid school for, has it completely escaped your notice that it probably wouldn't be shared by government regulators and would be controlled just like gaming if they had an easy way to do so?

Re:Another idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148128)

You seem to be implying that South Korea doesn't have much in the way of after school programs, which is far from the truth. Any parent that wants their child to go to a university (which is the vast majority of them) puts their kids through schooling that lasts from 8AM to 6PM-11PM. I know this since I teach in Korea and have been with students at their public school until 8PM only to hear them say that they have to go to their private lessons afterwards. Does that stop the kids from playing games into the next day? No. And it's not even just games. Students will routinely study or work on homework into the wee hours, getting 4 or so hours of sleep a day.
This is a problem about an educational system that only gives kids time to sleep, and they instead use that time for other things. If anything, they need fewer after school programs.

Re:Another idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38152622)

Mod parent up. One thing that Korea doesn't lack is after-school programs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagwon

Battle.net (1)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144894)

Anyone keeping an eye on the SC/SC2 playercounts before and after this?

whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144922)

Korea is fucking crazy anyways. They ban anything that is remotely fun, all they think about is work or the military. It's such a waste too since they have built a great modern country but their government is still in the middle age with their ideas of how a society should be.

Cool, I'm worse than South Korea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144928)

The network at home shuts down at 11 (only if I'm not logged on to my PC of course) and doesn't come back up until 7.

Got fed up with my kids leaving the server and gateway machines (next to our bedroom) on all night ;).

These were young adults, not teenagers and slow to learn the Golden Rule

(Fear the BOFH)

Re:Cool, I'm worse than South Korea (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145852)

Shift the server and gateways to the kids room as an exchange for 24x7 internet?

Re:Cool, I'm worse than South Korea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38146534)

Maintenance is the issue there.
My kids are slobs, I don't think being buried under 3' of composting clothing would do the hardware much good ;)

Besides, I told them if they could hack their way past the shutdown I didn't care - so they don't care THAT much anyway.

South Koreans are like Mogwais (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38144930)

Don't get them wet.
Don't let them game after midnight.

No such thing as single player (4, Funny)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38144944)

I for one am glad there is no such thing as a single player game you can get addicted too. *goes back to playing skyrim*

Re:No such thing as single player (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145036)

I just started it yesterday and regret it so much now :( I got no time for this!!!!112

Re:No such thing as single player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38146628)

Thanks for the warning, guys!

Re:No such thing as single player (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38147890)

Not if these games phone home online. :(

Military Service (3, Informative)

Sigvatr (1207234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145006)

Honestly, this will have an even greater effect than people are imagining at the moment. All males must service mandatory military service after high school, so they will probably have to wait a while longer to play games after midnight than people are thinking. This is all just a conspiracy by older people to make younger people not have any fun.

Re:Military Service (-1)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145044)

Honestly, this will have an even greater effect than people are imagining at the moment. All males must service mandatory military service after high school, so they will probably have to wait a while longer to play games after midnight than people are thinking. This is all just a conspiracy by older people to make younger people not have any fun.

You first. People like yourself should be given a gun and put on the front line of the nearest shit-hole battle zone the moment they open their mouth.

Re:Military Service (1)

Sigvatr (1207234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145102)

Nah I'm having too much fun playing Starcraft.

Re:Military Service (3, Insightful)

sahonen (680948) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145116)

Put away the pitchfork, he was talking about the mandatory military service in South Korea, he was not expressing the opinion that military service should be mandatory.

Re:Military Service (0)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145400)

Put away the pitchfork, he was talking about the mandatory military service in South Korea, he was not expressing the opinion that military service should be mandatory.

My cousin was crippled by mandatory military service in Egypt. He is now a permanent paraplegic and almost died. I'm not close - I haven't seen him in almost 3 decades but every time I think of mandatory military service and my children I get a chill.

Re:Military Service (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#38146980)

My cousin was crippled by mandatory military service in Egypt. He is now a permanent paraplegic and almost died. I'm not close - I haven't seen him in almost 3 decades but every time I think of mandatory military service and my children I get a chill.

A Greek friend-of-a-friend was doing his military service. He was the navigator for a tank doing some exercise at night. He told the driver to stop, as it was so foggy he could no longer see the road. The supervising sergeant said he knew the area and took over -- and a few minutes later directed the tank off a shallow cliff, which rolled it over, killing the sergeant and injuring some of the teenage soldiers.

If compulsory service is necessary I don't see any benefit in making that service in the military. Make them work for a charity for a while instead. (I still don't think it should happen.)

Re:Military Service (2)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148016)

In a small country like South Korea which has a hostile neighbor with 9 million trained soldiers I think most men would rather learn to fight

Re:Military Service (0)

N1AK (864906) | more than 2 years ago | (#38147620)

If that's how stupidly you react over someone mentioning a fact, without even expressing an opinion, then I've got chills about the fact you've got children.

Re:Military Service (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 2 years ago | (#38147606)

And people like you just shouldn't open their mouths. Sadly shouldn't isn't doesn't so you can and do. Try reading his post properly and you'll realise that he's talking about the mandatory service that already exists in South Korea.

Re:Military Service (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145148)

yes nothing is more fun than playing some shitty almost 3d isometric game to mine hours on end to make enough money to go buy the next jackoff anime porn, I lived in your country, I play your games, there is nothing fun about it in the first place

Re:Military Service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38147252)

Erm, military service *is* mandatory in Korea already.

Another way of saying "Korean gamers" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145018)

"Faggots with small dicks".

Re:Another way of saying "Korean gamers" (-1, Offtopic)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#38146116)

While your post is of course flamebait, it got me curious. According to this exceedingly reputable map [targetmap.com] , South Koreans (in fact, most Asians in general) do have below-average penis sizes. I wasn't able to find numbers on the prevalence of homosexuality in South Korean men compared to the rest of the world, though there is a Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] on this general topic. While the numbers vary wildly depending on when, where, and how people are asked, apparently something like 4% of people identify themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, with significantly more having had some homosexual experience at some point in their lives.

Of course, this has essentially nothing to do with the topic at hand. My apologies for the off-topic post.

Re:Another way of saying "Korean gamers" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38146514)

You missed the point. They have small dicks because they are Korean; they are faggots because they are gamers.

And there was much rejoicing.... (4, Funny)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145066)

Finally, professional Starcraft players from other countries finally have a chance!

(based on the single "Barcraft" I've been to, iirc the semifinals were all South Koreans)

Re:And there was much rejoicing.... (4, Informative)

sahonen (680948) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145100)

In the recent MLG, there were 4 foreigners in the top 8... Two Americans, a Canadian and a Swede. The Swede made it to the final, only to be defeated by a 16-year-old South Korean kid. It was quite the tournament.

Gamers in Korea? (1)

Nugoo (1794744) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145088)

I didn't even know they had very many teenagers playing onli-
Wait, South Korea!?

Re:Gamers in Korea? (1)

englishknnigits (1568303) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145336)

That precisely summarizes my reaction.

Re:Gamers in Korea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38150822)

What, you really think they were talking about the North? I don't even think most people up there have internet connections, much less a computer. Or are even allowed to have one.

The comment subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145104)

'You can say someone is an alcoholic if they drink more than three bottles (of liquor) a day, but you can't call them alcoholic because they drink after midnight. It's the same with gaming,'

But you can be pretty sure something is up if they drink before 10 AM.

Re:The comment subject (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145612)

'You can say someone is an alcoholic if they drink more than three bottles (of liquor) a day, but you can't call them alcoholic because they drink after midnight. It's the same with gaming,'

But you can be pretty sure something is up if they drink before 10 AM.

Or, as I've heard it put, you can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning.

Not such a bad thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145346)

After all, it isn't so bad that the adolescents go to bad earlier !

And all the MMO Operations folk rejoice!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145454)

Finally a decent maintenance window.....

You can say someone is an alcoholic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145506)

'You can say someone is an alcoholic if they drink more than three bottles (of liquor) a day,

You *can* say that, but I would generally refer to that person as "dead" instead.

Tools (1)

Superdarion (1286310) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145624)

They way I see it, it's still possible for parents to educate their teens in any way they see fit, for if they want to allow their son/daughter to play after midnight, all they have to do is create an account with the parents' names on it.

I think this law is only providing a good tool for parents to control their children's addiction. Of course, if it's as simple as creating an account using your parents' info (without them requiring to sign up on anything), then the whole thing is kindda useless, but the article doesn't say.

How about... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145756)

Having their parents be parents instead of making a lame law?

Re:How about... (1)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149554)

Maybe the parents support the lame law? Makes their life easier, doesn't it?

Games get a higher priority over studies then? (3, Insightful)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145840)

2 scenarios
A) I can do homework and studies after midnight, but no games, then I am going to game till midnight and study after that
but if the restriction wasnt there,
B) I would finish off studies first and game after that for whatever amount of time I want
in A, I'm playing with a fresh mind, and studying with a tired mind
In B its the reverse
Why would the govt. want students to study with a tired mind?

Re:Games get a higher priority over studies then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38147546)

In South Korea school for kids age 4-6 will end school at 9pm. high grades like middle school and high school usually finishes 10+pm. so when you get home, it's time for sleep and no time to play game which results in sleeping during classes. The whole things starts on 7am or earlier so kids wake up at 6am to go to school....
The education system in South Korea is so broken where they put less importance in socialization, communication and debates skills and focus on learning math, physics, and English. Sigh...:(

Re:Games get a higher priority over studies then? (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148164)

School from 7am to 9pm??
Any links for that?

The education system in South Korea is so broken where they put less importance in socialization, communication and debates skills and focus on learning math, physics, and English.

This happens in India as well, but school is 8AM to (2-4)PM here

Do they realize what they-- (1)

AltControlsDelete (642641) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145932)

under the age of 16

Nevermind, Leenock is safe.

Re:Do they realize what they-- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38147756)

Yes, and this rule pretty much ensures that there will be no more new Leenocks to take his place when he gets old.

I'm not a medical expert (3, Interesting)

Cyberllama (113628) | more than 2 years ago | (#38146808)

But it seems pretty obvious to me that we should start treating addictions, especially "gaming addiction" as a symptom instead of a disease. In fact, symptom may be too strong of a word--coping mechanism might be more suitable. I'm not going to tell you that kids can't stay up all night, neglect their schoolwork, and seriously harm their academic futures by way of "gaming addiction"--but we really ought to be a lot more concerned with figuring out why certain kids feel like they need that sort of escapism in their life rather than just slapping some sort of one-size fits all band-aid on the situation and then patting ourselves on our collective backs.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that "gaming is treatment" and therefore it shouldn't be restricted. To the contrary, I understand that it may be necessary to limit a child's access to video games in order to prevent them from entering a cycle of excessive gaming --> Failure --> depression --> more gaming ---> more failure --> etc. I'm just saying each child's situation and problems are completely different, and that no singular solution is going to fix every kid, and for some, something like this might do more harm than good. I have no doubt in my mind that for some kids, video games are the thin line between "coping on a day to day basis" and "suicidal tendencies". We may be seeing policies like this in China and Korea first, but many western countries aren't too far behind unless there's a sudden outbreak of common sense.

Re:I'm not a medical expert (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38146992)

I have no doubt in my mind that for some kids, video games are the thin line between "coping on a day to day basis" and "suicidal tendencies".

I'm not going to go to details, but suffice to say that I have had a somewhat rough life and atleast from personal experience I have to agree with you: I likely wouldn't have made it to this day without something to occupy myself with, and games happen to be extremely good for such.

Re:I'm not a medical expert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148602)

Ditto, its one of the few areas I did well at the time, and allowed me to escape. I credit it as one of the reasons I'm still here.

Re:I'm not a medical expert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38147096)

Maybe we should be making fruity "today" games that never lose so modern kids never fail and never get depressed. There are no losers in the modern world. Yea. OK.

Re:I'm not a medical expert (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148078)

I am an expert, and addiction IS a symptom any always was.
But you are right in a more general way: Most doctors seem to act as if symptoms were diseases... in general. And as if their source could be *an organ*. Which is pretty damn dangerous as a mindset of society.
In reality, there are only two sources of diseases: Genes and a influence from outside world. Period. Never ever forget that.
Outside influences can be: Food, social interaction, cleaning and hygiene chemicals, and generally environmental hazards (also at home), etc.

An addiction, which can be to *anything*, is when the mind replaces something it needs which is missing with something else. Give the mind the original missing thing, and the addiction will be gone quickly.
The problem is, that that is often not possible. (As in: Your dad died and your mom is very sick, while your partner treated you like crap and left. You can guess what's missing for somebody in that situation.) Then the only solution, is to find another good replacement that's closer to the original. (Like in this case somebody who's "like a parent to one" and a new partner.)

In by far the most cases, plain and simple love and being cared for is what's missing.
We finally have to acknowledge, that when a child has "addiction to X", then is in the PARENTS who are the failures, as they can't provide simple basic care and love for their children. Especially when "X" is something where comparing it to a drug is just silly, like "games".
Instead they mostly try to repress it with hard-core junkie drugs like Prozac, Adderall, etc.

How can a parent be that much of a piece of shit to let his child pop drugs just to avoid the "burden" of care??
Well, usually because they have just as many untreated problems of their own, including those with *their* parents/bosses/etc. Which usually can be traced back to a big war or similar events.

The trick is to end the chain, right here, right now. *If possible*.

P.S.: Games in themselves are NOT a bad thing. Especially online games, with real social interaction. (Yes, somebody finally has to say it: Those people online are just as real as those offline!) It is *good* that they are there as a replacement. Otherwise one would just find another, probably worse, replacement. Like actual drugs.
In fact, games (which includes RL team sports) are the mother of all education, entertainment, sports and art. The latter are just specializations of the former.
Oh and, school is the worst fucking game ever designed. Utterly unbalanced, non-motivating, non-fun, repetitive primitive boring crap. Let a real game designer (not found at EA & co) design a way to teach the stuff, and suddenly kids *want* to go to school.

Re:I'm not a medical expert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148834)

" Which usually can be traced back to a big war or similar events." Wow, I was surprised to see that mentioned. I'm dealing with issues in my family resulting from World War II. Mainly stemming from grandparents who were severely disturbed and depressed, although appearing to everyone else as normal, caused a chain reaction of depression in their children. In analyzing these issues the cause was easily traceable to the war. My wife's grandfather who raised her was a medic in WWII, he was there to see the worst of everything and was captured on top of being a battlefield care provider for injured/dying soldiers. Although he maintained a solid appearance and involvement in the community (well respected) he had many episodes over the years which had a great impact on my wife and are far from resolved. I don't like to post AC, but I must, to continue the tradition of hiding this fact from public view. America, and many other countries are still trying to heal from WWII and the problems are not trivial.

Re:I'm not a medical expert (1)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 2 years ago | (#38149582)

"More gaming -> ... -> more gaming" works out okay for the gaming companies, doesn't it?

Unintended consequences (2)

fredrickleo (711335) | more than 2 years ago | (#38147360)

This may be an unintended consequence of a law that was recently passed in SK that prohibited late night classes from going past 10pm (roughly 1-2 years ago). In SK it was very common for teenage students to attend classes or study halls until around midnight before heading home. It seems possible that with that with the extra time they have available they now just go to the PC room (internet cafe) and game rather than going home (many Koreans game at PC rooms rather than at home).

Interesting to see how this turns out, turning off accounts at 10 might be one solution but another "solution" that might come up is having police go into PC rooms after curfew to make sure nobody is violating curfew (the same way US MPs go into bars in SK looking for US service members drinking after their curfew).

Re:Unintended consequences (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148668)

No, you just require proof of age and lock people out of the server at a specified time. This is needed in every country. Kids do not have a right to game all night, and I would personally, as an older adult, appreciate an adult time for game servers. World of Warcraft has needed this for years.

What about the other *addiction*? (2)

Nanosphere (1867972) | more than 2 years ago | (#38147660)

The one noone ever talks about. Socializing. There are a ton of people out there that are obsessed with each other, and I mean to an unhealthy level. I know people who literally cannot stand being "single" for a day. They fall into depression when there is no drama circling their lives.

Why don't people ever discuss *that* addiction?

I'm an introvert but I've been quite happy with my life despite coming off as quiet and reserved compared to most people. I just do not find human culture as the pinnacle of my interest. Science and nature interest me just as much if not more than what we primates are doing with each other.

Re:What about the other *addiction*? (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148628)

Yes, this socialization you speak of is masking clinical depression in some cases. A lot of people cannot stand to be alone. They will also associate with people they do not like and that do not really care about them just to be in the mix and avoid solitary thought. It is definitely a problem. When real life sets in one day these people are going to wreck their lives because of it, I've watched this happen. It is difficult to distinguish this behavior from standard teenage socialization unless you are aware of this problem, have witnessed it before, and are able to closely observe the person.

I wonder if it's a good idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38148060)

I kinda understand South Korea motive. Addicted gamers seem a bigger problem for their kids than ours. Still, I wonder if it's a good idea. They are teen and I'm sure "forcing them" to stop will do any good. Hell, they might even take is as a challenge and I'm quite sure they'll find workaround.

I was quite intense as a gamers when I was way younger. My mother tried everything to force me to stop and all it did was increasing my desire to play.

Let's get real, kids "love" doing thing that are prohibited.

Awesome (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148512)

Freakin A!! GAWD I wish we had this rule in America! Then the adults could have some good gaming and the 12 year olds would get some much needed regulation. Good one Korea!

Re:Awesome (1)

desdinova 216 (2000908) | more than 2 years ago | (#38150462)

I don't know about that, sometimes the adults are the more immature players.

Why not handle the actual problem? (2)

Xanny (2500844) | more than 2 years ago | (#38148540)

If South Korean teenagers are wasting their lives in virtual worlds, it means they have nothing to strive for in this one. Taking away the escape mechanism will not do anything but make them take more extremist escapist measures like getting into mind altering drugs. The problem that needs addressed, and it actually applies internationally to pretty much every nations children, is that the new generations are disenfranchised with our outdated methodologies regarding education. We treat it like a factory going through 12 or 13 different cycles, try putting the gifted on a different track, etc, but in the end, it repels them. It repelled me and most other people I know. I grew to seek education and knowledge because I realized they were important, public schooling drove me away from them because they do them so horribly wrong. That is why kids everywhere don't care. No one else does beyond this superficial level. They restrict the exploration and experimentation in the world of the youth and wonder why they become disenfranchised with it.

South Korea and MMOs (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 2 years ago | (#38150370)

A lot of fun games come out of South Korea. I've played a few MMOs and other online games from there. However, the most annoying thing is the fatigue systems they put in. I can't even sit around with my friends, drink, and play any of these games with them over a Saturday because any in game gains I get will be cut off after an hour or two of playing. I used to play Dungeon Fighter Online, for example, and could only get about 3% of a level per day because the experience requirement was so high and I was so limited in the amount of actual effective play time I was allowed by the game.

A few high level dungeon runs (at a few minutes each) and I was no longer allowed to make any gains.

I now avoid games that have a fatigue system.

This is Good (1)

davesque (1911272) | more than 2 years ago | (#38151942)

People are dying over there from gaming addictions. I say it's the right move. I don't see that the alcoholism analogy has any significance. They're two very different addictions with different causes and symptoms.

Sometimes you can only blame yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38153128)

It's crazy that children might want to go home and relax after getting up at 7am and getting home at 4 or 5pm after school. Perhaps homework isn't their idea of fun... it sure isn't my idea of fun. It's a mix of not having enough free time to themselves (hence staying up so late) and some games requiring so much time and effort. I personally still enjoy playing Heroes of Might and Magic 3 because I can pause/save it and come back to it any time.

I played WoW pretty obsessively for roughly 4 years. I'd avoid going out to stay in and play it with my friends. Why? Because there's nothing to do outside. Everything has been built over.. everything costs too much money.

Perhaps life just isn't as interesting as a video game can be.. who knows :)

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