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Internet Gaming Addiction

To Fight Internet Addiction, South Korea Considers Shutting Web Down at Midnight for Under 16s

South Korea considers pulling the internet plug at midnight for computer gamers under the age of 16.

Under the terms of a proposed South Korean ‘Cinderella law’ registered internet users under the age of 16 would see their connection to online games pulled between midnight and 6 am each day.

The move comes in response to what South Korean officials say is a rising tide of internet addiction in the country. High profile cases illustrating the nation’s problems in recent months include a murder suicide by a 15 year old boy whose mother was trying to limit his game play, the death at the computer of a 32 year old man who had spent 5 continuous days online with few breaks and the infamous case of the parents whose infant died of neglect as the couple played an online parenting game at an internet café near their apartment.

Commenting on the need for the law, the minister in charge of the proposed measure, Jo Rin, said, "The thing about online games is, once you are in it, it is extremely hard to get out of it, especially if you are a young kid. A lot of kids play games all night long and have trouble studying at school and going about their normal lives during daytime. We believe the law is necessary to ensure their health and a right to sleep."

South Korea is one of the world’s most effectively connected nations, which has resulted, according to government figures, to an estimated 2 million South Koreans with internet addictions.

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