The children’s favorite game, Minecraft, is said to be the only adult game in Korea. What’s going on here? Let’s dig in together. ....................................................................................................... Ed
Minecraft is used in various fields with infinite utilization, and lets you create your own world by using different blocks. It is gaining popularity as it ranks first in paid games in application stores, such as Play Store and Microsoft Store. In particular, Minecraft is so popular among Korean teenagers due to the influence of YouTubers under the nickname, ‘President of Child,’ though it is on the verge of becoming a 19-year-old game.
Minecraft’s underage unavailability case began earlier this year with Microsoft’s login modification. Microsoft acquired Minecraft’s game company, Mojang Studio, in 2014. So far, all ages have had no problem using it, but Microsoft has been trying to access Minecraft through Microsoft’s Xbox Live account since early this year due to security issues on updating game software. Minecraft was logged in to its Mojang Studio account before. However, South Korea’s Shutdown Act, which bans teenagers under the age of 19 from playing games after midnight, has been hampered. With respect to other games, South Korean servers are established specifically in which the Shutdown law is applied. However, in Microsoft’s case, it has blocked its Xbox game subscription from being played by users under 19 years old since 2012. Therefore, when the account is consolidated, underaged users no longer have access to the game.
The arrow in this case was aimed at the MOGEF (Ministry of Gender Equality and Family), which consistently supported and managed the Shutdown system. Although the bill has been applied so far, voices of criticism appear to have intensified on the extreme news that even the games that were being used well will become unavailable. The issue has become more controversial since the public has recently disagreed on the need for the MOGEF. There were opinions from netizens that MOGEF should be abolished, but it could not issue the Shutdown system on its own. The Korean National Assembly finally passed the bill. The MOGEF’s policy did not prevent the game from being played suddenly, but it was caused by the different applications of the shutdown system, depending on the platform.
There is a game regulation policy to protect teenagers in every country, but South Korea is the only country that prohibits users from playing games after midnight. The Shutdown system can be a major obstacle to Korea’s development in the information industry, and if the Republic of Korea builds a limited individual server, there will be unnecessary economic losses in terms of cost and time. Regulating games unconditionally would not be an ideal way to protect minors.
Kim Tae-eun (ST Cub-Reporter)