South Korea imposes PSN curfew for young gamers

South Korea has implemented a 'Shutdown Law' that bans access to gaming networks between the hours of 12am and 6am for those under the age of 16.

Sony and Microsoft have both complains that they haven't been given enough time to implement blocks on their networks to comply with the new law, which comes into play on 18th November. From then on, any console or PC firm that allows a player under the age of 16 to access its network between the hours of 12am and 6am will be in breach of it.

Designed to combat gaming addition and give younger players enough sleep to be effective the following day, it was thought that the Shutdown law would initially only apply to PC titles like the incredibly popular Starcraft - but it's now being brought into play for consoles as well.

Policing the age of gamers is currently difficult, as sign-ups are all anonymous. To prevent under-age gamers re-registering with profiles that appear over the age limit, Sony plans to make it impossible for any under-16 users currently registered in South Korea to create a new account.

Gaming website Kotaku is reporting that while Sony's approach might be a little soft in countering this issue, Microsoft could go way overboard, with plans currently being considered to shut down the entire Xbox Live network in South Korea between midnight and 6am.

Another problem is that none of these laws or preventative measures does anything to limit local, offline play.

Gamasutra reports that the citizens haven't rolled over either, with the group MoonHwaYunDae filing an appeal to Korea's Constitutional Court about the Shutdown law, stating that it violates their right to pursue happiness.

The group also says the law does nothing to address why gamers might play late at night, or why they might become addicted to games in the first place.