South Korea is often the subject of some pretty remarkable stories revolving around the perils of online game addiction, and the country's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is responding to the problem by imposing a midnight ban on underaged gamers. With the ban in place, underaged gamers will be instantly forced out of gaming sessions once the clock strikes midnight.
Interestingly, South Korea will also be implementing a "slowdown" system that will throttle internet speeds for users who play for long lengths of time, essentially griefing them from playing by starving them of much needed bandwidth. This system is being tested out on popular games such as "Dungeon Fighter Online" and "Dragon Nest" with the expectation that it will roll out to 19 RPGs, which may not sound like much, but combined represent 79% of South Korea's domestic online game market.
The ban policy will begin sometime in the second half of the year and will apply to games such as "Mabinogi" and "Maple Story," among others.
Gamers will be able to select the timeframe for their lockout as well, choosing from midnight to 6am, 1-7 a.m., or 2-8 a.m.
[Thanks Kost for the tip!]