Parents to better control game time for children
By Yun Suh-young
From next month, a new program will enable parents to better control children’s game-playing time.
According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Tuesday, the Game Hour Selection System will be introduced in July, empowering parents to request Internet game firms to set a specific number of hours their children can play games.
After consulting with their parents, teenagers can decide how many hours they will play games and once these times are in the system, they cannot be changed.
Teens will also have to gain parental consent when registering with the game site. Parents may also cancel their children’s registration from the game site. The number of hours played and money spent on the game site will be sent to parents via e-mail or text message.
Parents may view the sites their children are registered to at www.gamecheck.org.
The game hour selection system applies to all teenagers under the age of 18.
Those subject to the new system will be 100 online games serviced by 14 companies. This accounts for about 90 percent of the games played by teenagers.
However, online game sites run by small and medium-sized companies that offer educational content will be excluded from the shutdown.
The new system is an addition to the current compulsory online game shutdown system enforced by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family where highly addictive online game sites are shut down from midnight to 6 a.m. and minors under the age of 16 are banned from access during these hours.
The new system is expected to restrict the game playing teenagers to a further extent as it will coexist with the current rule.
Some, however, express concerns that the new system will encourage teenagers to move on to games that don’t require registration such as StarCraft. Parents who are not familiar with using the Internet will also have limits setting curfews as companies do not allow this to be done via the phone.