The Korean branch of Sony Computer Entertainment has announced that they will be shutting down the PlayStation Network at night for underage gamers. This is in compliance with South Korea’s Shutdown Law, which bars underage gamers to play games for six hours at night.
The Shutdown Law was originally intended for online PC games, but has reached consoles, affecting Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s PlayStation network gaming services. It was designed to limit underage gamers’ late night gaming and aims to eliminate addiction.
Starting November 18, the company will shut down the PlayStation network to Korean subscribers under the age of 16. Both Microsoft and Sony said that it will be hard for them to prevent minors from playing between 12AM to 6AM in such short notice.
Microsoft may have a problem because, unlike Sony who requires subscribers to key in their dates of birth, the company’s Korean leg does not collect age data of their subscribers. Microsoft is considering shutting down Xbox Live for all subscribers in the country, regardless of age. Meanwhile, Japanese gaming company Nintendo is yet to comment on how they will work around the situation.
The Korean Shutdown Law was widely criticized by people, saying that the law will do nothing to address why minors play games late at night. They are also arguing that the government has not yet proven that online gaming late at night is more harmful than other activities.