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Sony triggers PSN curfew for South Korean underage players

Sony triggers PSN curfew for South Korean underage players


Sony takes a proactive stance in meeting South Korea's Shutdown Law, designed to curb gaming addiction.

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South Korea has gone to great lengths to stem the growing rate of gaming addiction within its youth population. Last year, Seoul announced a "nighttime shutdown" policy against popular RPG titles, which booted underage players from the time-intensive games when the clock struck midnight. Bandwidth throttling was also instituted as a tactic against those who connected for lengthy periods of time.

Now it is turning to console manufacturers for assistance with cutting off online play to those under sixteen in the late evening hours (specifically between midnight and 6AM). It seems a daunting task for Sony and Microsoft to tackle. Both PlayStation Network and Xbox Live make registering a new user account a relatively quick process ― one which currently lacks any means of foolproof age verification.

For its part, Sony Computer Entertainment of Korea has announced its intentions to fully comply. Beginning November 18th, it will deny underage gamers access to PSN during the restricted hours and says it will somehow prevent those same individuals from creating new network accounts. The company notes that this policy applies solely to the PlayStation 3, suggesting that it may have a different plan for the upcoming PlayStation Vita.

The Xbox camp seems more likely to opt for the all-or-nothing approach. Microsoft of Korea is reportedly favoring the idea of taking Xbox Live offline at midnight for the entire country, restoring service at 6 the following morning. Every day. It should have a decent amount of time to decide; Gamasutra reports consoles may receive a two-year grace period before they're required to participate in the Shutdown Law.

While these measures may seem rather extreme, there's a small part of us that wouldn't mind seeing the US get similar treatment. Judging by the profanity and racial slurs we hear hurled around on Xbox Live and PSN with reckless abandon, some people could clearly use a mandatory time out. (We're just kidding about that last part, friends.)