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Parliament approves online game shutdown for school kids

The National Assembly on Friday passed a revision bill that will ban those under the age of 16 from playing online games from midnight through 6 a.m.

During the parliamentary plenary session, 117 of the 210 lawmakers who participated in the vote endorsed the bill to revise the Youth Protection Act while 63 voted against it with 30 abstaining.
Lawmakers attend a parliamentary session on Thursday. Yonhap News
Lawmakers attend a parliamentary session on Thursday. Yonhap News

The so-called shutdown system will go into effect six months after being promulgated, government officials said. A similar bill that would prohibit those under age 19 from playing online games late at night was voted down.

Supporters of the system, who are mostly parents, said that a measure should be instituted to help heal students addicted to online games.

However, opponents of the bill said that the shutdown system was not the best solution to address game addictions, stressing that it is an “anachronistic” idea and would stifle the games industry. They also argue that the ban would not be effective as students would find loopholes in the system.

By Song Sang-ho (sshluck@heraldcorp.com)
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