The Constitutional Court ruled Thursday that a law limiting children's access to online computer games after midnight is constitutional.
In the ruling against a group of teenagers who enjoy online games, their parents and gaming firms, the court said the law has the "justifiable" purpose of protecting minors from Internet game addiction and "a proper means" to implement this aim.
The court made the decision in a 7-2 majority opinion by its justices.
Under the Youth Protection Act, online game operators are currently banned from providing services to children under age 15 from midnight to six in the morning. Violators of the so-called "nighttime shutdown" system can face up to two years in prison or 10 million won ($9,624) in fines.
In a petition, the group argued that the law excessively limits children's basic rights by prohibiting them from playing Internet games at night.
"The court judged that, given the nation's high rate of youth who play Internet games and their addictive nature, it is hard to see that the forced shutdown system introduced to prevent various social problems from game addiction is excessive regulation," a court official said of the ruling.(Yonhap)