Some countries leave it up to the parents to dictate how much students can play video games, others try to recruit teachers to help fight the tide toward digital characters racing, fighting, and collecting endless mushrooms or golden spheres. How did the law come into force and how can your kids play games whenever they feel on your family trip to South Korea.  This article will take on both of those questions and introduce you to the power of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). Note: My team and I don’t condone participation in any illegal activities. Please check the rules and regulations in your country to ensure you are not in breach of any laws.

History of Korea’s Cinderella Law’

The movement to pass a shutdown law on video games for children under the age of 16 in Korea was started as a grassroots movement in 2004. A member of the Grand Nation Party proposed it as the Juvenile Protection Act the following year, but opposition from the gaming industry killed the bill. It was proposed and killed in 2006, 2008, and 2009 before the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family came up amendments to introduce their own version of the bill. In April 2011, another version of the Juvenile Protection Act amendment was introduced to the Korea Assembly and passed. In November of that same year, the shutdown law went into effect for every online game in service in Korea. This applies to any game that requires a resident registration number, along with some social games. Any Korean child less than 17 years old cannot play video games for the six hours starting at midnight and lasting until 6 a.m. In 2014, the law was challenged, but a constitutional court upheld the shutdown. South Korea takes the subject of Internet addiction seriously, reporting in 2010 that about 14% of children ages 9-to-12 in Korea were addicted to it.

The VPN Workaround

VPNs allow you to access the Internet through a third-party server that takes your identity and masks it by use of encryption and remote servers. For instance, if you wanted to connect to a certain online gaming platform at 12:30 a.m. but you are under the age of 17, your connection would be blocked. By downloading a VPN app, you could instead connect to a third-party server, which would form a “tunnel” between your computer and a remote one outside of Korea. All your data requests would be encrypted so that your ISP or the Korean government could not see what information you were uploading. When they reach the remote server, the requests would be decrypted and assigned a new IP address representative of the country you have connected to. The information would then be sent to the Internet with the Korean government none the wiser. As you begin interacting with the game, your data would first go to the remote server where it would encrypted and sent back to your computer, where it is decrypted and becomes viewable.


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