Korea’s Anti-Gaming Laws

[music] For our last TL;DR we wound up talking about the changing adultery laws in Korea and Tipnaine wound up asking if there are any other strange laws Korea It’s funny because the first thing I thought of was I wanted find a law in Korea like You cannot drink soju with shorts on past 1 a.m. on Thursdays ‘You cannot smack a Jeju pig’s ass’ These unfortunately are not strange laws in Korea, though we wish they were I know. Although the law we’re talking about today actually has a pretty cool name This one is the ‘Cinderella Law’ The ‘Cinderella Law’ basically means that anybody under the age of 16 is not allowed to play online games from midnight to 6 a.m. in South Korea the reason why this law came about is because supposedly 12% of South Korean teenagers are severely addicted to the internet and it is resulting in dropping grades, and a lot of people dropping out of school as well. [M] There are 24 hour video game rooms PC bang We actually did a video in a PC bang before. So if you plan on camping out here for a few hours you’re probably gonna get hungry fortunately for you we have all the video game food you need sodas, lot a coffees, we got lot a junk food here, candy bars, dried squid, chips and cookies. So you can say that you’re going to school, and then you could just skip school and just go to a PC bang so you don’t have to be at home to play as well. So there are a lot of ways for people to actually drop out of school and play video games all the time So the law has been around for 3.5 years in Korea and it started out at first for online RPGs but now it’s extended to console gaming and even mobile gaming as well. Now I’m telling you this because I wish I knew about this law beforehand because I wound up buying Final Fantasy XIV for my PS3 and I thought, ‘Oh, it’s gonna be great to play!’ but it turns out it was banned in Korea and I couldn’t play it whatsoever. Not only could I not play it after midnight but I couldn’t play it altogether. Even during the day and the reason why is because Sony made this game, and it’s a worldwide game and they didn’t change it just for South Korea so that people could like- log in- yeah, so that people could log in and enforce it. So because Sony didn’t play by Korea’s rules, Korea banned that game. Okay, so the question you guys are probably thinking at home is ‘How can they ban you?’ How do the know that you’re underage? How do they know that Simon is not a 15 year old boy that’s trying to play online? So the law isn’t just preventing teenagers from playing games, it’s preventing game companies from letting teenagers play games. So in order to play an online game you have to create an account, and in order to create an account you have to login with your Korean Social Identity Number and a telephone number in order to verify your identity. [M] It’s your social insurance number. Yeah [M] and you’re putting that for a video game, online, onto the internet. That’s crazy because I play Nintendo games online I play PlayStation games online I would not feel comfortable giving my full actual government ID to play these games That’s crazy! Now, there must be some sneaky kid who have gone out there and taken their parents’ IDs right? Yes! Supposedly 5% of teenagers have hijacked their parents identities in order to play games online after midnight. Yep Not only that there is even a blackmarket for stolen adult social insurance numbers that kids can buy in order to play video games online. [M] That is desperation. [S] It is so intense that there is a market for this that people are buying identities to play online. Outside of the realm of video game playing addiction um, Korean identity theft is one of the biggest problems in Korea. Oh it’s huge. [M] Yeah. For those of you that want to know if you’re a foreigner in Korea and under the age of 16 does this law apply to you as well We’re not necessarily sure, we actually called the ministry and the lady that we wound up getting on the phone doesn’t know the answer to that as well, and I’m thinking that maybe they just didn’t really consider foreigners because we’re only like 2-3% of the population here, so we don’t apply as much Ooh, okay so then, I have a question then. If you’re a foreigner, not like ‘Korean American,’ because maybe that applies to you because you’ve got Korean citizenship in you, but if you’re at an international school in Korea I’d love to know if you’re able to play the games after midnight So when you wanted to play Final Fantasy online was it that you don’t have the Korean identity number to type in? Or…[S] No it just, it wouldn’t even load. Korea’s like nanana no Final Fantasy for you and it just wouldn’t load at all, wouldn’t connect to the server. [M] Oh! So that’s why we can’t tell if our ID will work or not It was probably blocked because there is no system in the game that allowed me for my identity to go in to verify that I’m an adult. So, what happens if you are caught breaking the law? If you use your parents’ ID or you use like a black market ID If somehow you are caught breaking the law you could face up to 2 years in jail and a 9,000 dollar fine [M] and you’re like 14? [S] That’s it. You’re done for dude. [M] No! They can’t put you in jail for 2 years! I’m not sure if anyone’s actually gone to jail yet, but supposedly it’s written in the law that you can. But what are they gonna do? Throw a 14 year old in jail? Yeah! How dare you play video games online after midnight! To jail with you, with all the rapists and the murderers! Meanwhile all these taxis are like driving across the street, and motorcycles are trying to murder us. People are blowing through reds. and they’re like, ‘Ah this kid here-Maplestory-Starcraft 1 a.m.’ Done. So I guess the question is with all these threats that are happening to teenagers and stuff like that has it actually made a change at all, and interestingly in the past 3 years there has only been a 0.3% decrease that’s it. [S] Not even 1% decrease! This gigantic law that is such a pain in the ass for people has resulted in 0.3% change. You know who I imagine it actually affected? Those kids who didn’t really care that much [S] The casual gamers that wanted to play after midnight. They were kinda like, ‘uuuh, I don’t care,’ but if you’re really into video games you’re gonna find a way around it because that’s basically like your hobby, that’s what you do. [S] Right! Yeah, and also, I’m gonna say this, if you go into professional Starcraft or like League of Legends or any of those games in Korea it is a career. If you are a professional gamer in the top tier you’re earning millions and bangin celebrities. That’s how serious it is here. Yeah, and it’s like broadcast on stations like ESPN, like. [S] They’ve got stadiums, they don’t mess around with gaming here. [M] Well, okay, so there’s a couple of problems here that’s our theory behind the addiction to online games. Um one of them I would say is that there’s that idea of this is what you should do and the university you should go to path. So if you want to be for example a Kpop star that’s also looked down upon Right. If you spend all your time dancing and training to be the best there are some families that would be like; that’s ridiculous, that career choice. So I think it goes hand in hand with video game playing The percentage, the odds of you making it [S] Yeah [M] as a gamer are really low so you should just take this path instead. But to make a law to prevent these kids, if they’re studying, like a lot of the schools that we know, kids study up until midnight. [M] or later, yeah [S] When do they have a time to actually relax and unwind? If they want to play video games afterwards you’re taking that away from them? Now here’s the other thing is that there’s pretty much no outlet for Korean teenagers. [S] Right! Okay, so for example, I was part of the drama club. I was part of like, the band club. I was a really big geek now that I look this over. You were so cool when you were younger. [M] I was part of the photography club! I was part of the snowboarding club. You had hobbies. [M] Yes, and hobbies that you went outside of your school with sometimes with other people from school Korean high schools have clubs, but I remember the students in my high school had to join, like it was mandatory The school is like, ‘You need to have hobbies in order to be healthy,’ so they would force kids into these clubs You had to pick one and it would be like, every other Saturday, so it’s not the same, it’s like basically going to school again. [S] So this one outlet that teenagers actually enjoy, and that’s actually relieving for them, the government is now like, in this little time that you have you’re not allowed to play it. [M]I, I guess they- [S] It sucks [M] are trying to keep people from dropping out of school and just doing that all the time but, I, obviously it’s not working yet. [S] Right! 0.3% change that’s not working. Alright we’re gonna talk a little bit more about this in our blog post, and especially, I watched a really cool documentary on how China has acknowledged online gaming as an addiction. [S] Mhm [M] I watched this really cool documentary about, well, I’ll tell you about that in the blog post. So make sure you click on the link here if you want to read more about it. [M] It involves boot camp. [S] It’s intense. So our question for you is : How serious is online gaming in your country? Are there any laws against it? Has it been acknowledged as an addiction or an issue or not? Let us know in the comment section below. I have a good question as well; Are you addicted to online games? [S] You can admit it. [M] Right. [S] The first step to recovery is admission Do you find yourself on the phone or on the computer constantly? [S] Like this, ‘daka danka daka’ [M] This is the, um, online gaming on your, no? This is thumb wars, that’s what this is [M] Is this the world’s smallest gaming console? [S] Thumb wars How come there’s no double thumb wars? Right? [S] ‘Cause you lose twice. Ready, 1, 2 3, 4, I declare a thumb war, kiss, hug, bow, begin You’re going to lose twice ’cause my thumbs are bigger, that’s one, Hey, keep your hands close! [M] Ow Ohh [M] Ohh [S] Ohh


  1. You know whats funny? My dad us 50yrs old and he plays video games up to 3AM and with loud speakers 🙁

  2. Easiest get-around for people who kind of don't care about school would just be play til midnight and do HW after midnight… essentially boosts the inclination for people to just play games before doing schoolwork LOL

  3. I can admit that I am addicted to gaming. I have no job so I spend most of my days gaming GW2 and taking breakd to go out with my dog. 
    Also I NEED to play candy crush soda 10 times a day or I will get anxiety attacks, though this has nothing to do with addiction lie that. It's just one of those thing you have to do to cope with your adhd at a daily basis.

  4. Does anyone else think that Simon is a cutie ?! Maritna you're so lucky from all your guys videos that I watched you two are definitely soul mates 💕💕

  5. There should be a acknowledge of iPhone-Addiction, YouTube-Addiction and FaceBook-Addiction…. Cuz I think that I am one of those who are addicted…. I'm not even joking… Are there a medicine for this?

  6. At least high school kids have much lesser chance of getting into trouble or dropping out of school in South Korea. Not like.  in USA where education in public school is substandard and high school dropout is so much higher and kids getting into all kinds of trouble such as drug/alcohol addiction or high violence among teenagers.

  7. I can't make an account for any korean games because I don't have a KSSN. I need korean social security number to play all these fun games. I'll just have to wait 2+ more years for them to come out in america. By then the games wont even be popular anymore. 🙁

  8. Korean people shouldn't be able to play against americans in League of Legends because koreans are impossible to beat… literally

  9. Wow, when did this happen? When FF14 first came out, I lived in Korea and bought it and played regularly… Even all night game sessions. I was even a Beta tester for it at the time.

  10. Interesting fact: This stupid law is the reason all mobile games were banned in Apple's and Google's app stores when smartphones first came out. The games had no identity verification.

  11. Question! What if I'm going to Seoul for a holiday and wanna go to the PC bangs to game? And I'm way above 16. How the hell do I log on if they're only going by government ID logins ?

  12. well I know that some who by what I have been told that may have been caught using their parents or another adults id number that was not their and were sent to a special jail for those children where they can only do their required classwork to gain their education have physical education etc but they just loose access to the outside world and without the use of online items so they have to do all their research the old fashioned way and must obtain their grade mastery before they leave. My thing is these online bars why not during school hours have them have to type in their government ID numbers in a panel or swipe their ID like a credit card at the entry to gain access during school hours in a enclosed secure entry way???? would that not stop kids from having access and the ones running the place if they do not check to see if these clients are adults or not by their ID during school hours hold them accountable for giving access for children to skip school by fining them. It would make it so that it is not profitable for them so the kids would not have a place to skip school to play video games!!!

  13. Online gaming, particularly mmorpg has made me a master of typing and marketing, so that's a law that really bothers me.

  14. You guys should check out the extra creditz video where one of their team members talks about his past addiction to video games. It might give you a bit of insight on that.

  15. World of Warcraft was in part the end of my marriage. Ex played that over doing ANYTHING else. So yes there is an addiction to gaming in the states.

  16. Simon.  Couldn't you use the thing I use for American Netflix that makes my Netflix account think I have an american IP address even though I infact live in Canada? To play Final Fantasy?

  17. 0.3% might not be much of a decrease but you also need to consider how much of an increase there could have been if the law wasn't there, it might not be pushing it down much but it could be preventing a lot of problems.

  18. Your last TL;DR 😱 I was going to ask if you can do one for teenage smoking in Korea since I've been seeing it often in kdramas.

  19. I think teenagers mustn't play a game late night, anyway that law is so freak..

  20. oh…. haha…. umm….. im actually listening to this video while im playing wow, dont judge me lol but in my defense im rewatching all ur videos 🙂 
    but yeah, i love games, especially MMO's, minecraft (online servers) is my second favorite game, apart from that i watch youtuber like Pewdiepie who play different games XD 
    definitely an addiction

  21. Brazil's have one of the best gaming prevention systems in the WORLD. We have fucking heavy TAXES on them. FUCK YOU DILMA ROUSSEFF!

  22. I'm not addicted to online games but I am to the internet…I used to go to sleep around 1-2am during the summer now its more like 5-7am when I got to sleep I usually just watch Running Man or Korean/Chinese dramas

  23. I tried playing MS2 and I needed my account verified even though I live in the USA so in order to play the game, what I needed to do was:
    Be able to play within the time limits of my time zone
    And have a verified account
    I didn't have a verified account so I couldn't do anything.

  24. my problem with online gaming is when the games prohibit you from playing outside of one country! And yes. im addicted, but i become bored after constantly playing it.

  25. it is law to prevent teen from addicting to internet game. several teen died because they played game more than 24hs continuously. it was very big social issue.

  26. Well For Leauge Of Ledgends The Team That Everyone Knows Is SK Telecom T1 The Other Korean Teams Aren't Really Known

  27. Oh I am a HUGE korean MMO fan..& I faced this isse multiplae times for multiple games like BnS KR, Black Desert KR & TERA KR..I could not create an acc..then had to find frnds to make me an acc..or buy it..it is a hassle..KOREA, STOP MAKING AMAZING MMOs..Grrr

  28. You know why I really don't like South Korean, because everything they made is Plagiarizing other countries' results. From samsung to LG, they just use other company's plan and made them their own. Even stole China's history, Korean this country is very slippery. A lot of Chinese citizens didn't like Korean. But Chinese governments like, because Chinese government use anti-Japan as some political propaganda brainwashing, but some people even didn't know the under-table thing China has done, China just tell people what benefits to governments, but didn't tell citizens the back reason, I heard a story, I'm not sure it's true or not, Korean wants to make good sell of their products, so they bribe China's government and pretend themselves as some "Hate Japan's Chinese" to abuse Japan, and China government also needs some people to do the "job" for China propaganda. And Korean company take advantage of the occasion to use their products to be marketed, Korean use a lot of cheeky ways to market their products, such as lowering price of product to market themselves, as all people like cheap price, I have some friends, after they use samsung and LG, they said it is just" pretty", but the design, the icon, the system compatible, a lot of things had errors, it's not worth to buy samsung and LG, and even Korean car, they just use Japan's model and made a little adjustments then brand as themselves.

  29. I know this is an olde video but I think XIV has been launched in South Korea the past few months.
    Hope you're giving it a try again, it's a fantastic game!

  30. Less than one percent of League of legends players are over Diamond 1. Master tier players, in the fraction of the 1 percent, work their asses off to make it into Challenger tier, which is the leaderboards of your region. Challenger tier players and upper master tier players, recently a small small number of Diamond 1 players, are chosen to be on teams.

    Korea has the highest skill level among players in any region by division, as demonstrated by their dominance in the competitive scene. Its a dream some people have, to be a star. But its not something I see as plausible for the most part. Its hard to be the shining new star, in such a competitive environment.

    I'm Addicted to online gaming, but Its what I chose to do with my life. I've worked in the field since I graduated and got my first chance at a big company when I started working with Nexon. Nowadays, I work with my partner and she and I are making a game together. It's sort of what drives me, so I can respect someone making a decision to try to be the next Huni or coach the next TPA or SKT. Those dreams are hard to accomplish but the people that do are the ones who deserve it the most, and they're the ones with the millions of people watching them all the time. Its more merit based than KPop, which I hear is a kind of icky industry, like any music business… but the concept is the same.

  31. 2:57 lol I'm sure it's way over 5%. I'm Korean and everybody did that when I was a kid. Not because of the "shutdown law" because that didn't exist back then. I just wanted to play R-rated games. I'm sure all the kids are doing the same today. The "Cinderella Law" you say? Well Cinderella has put on a mask and is dancing past 12.

  32. I probably game too much, but I also have a job and study so its kinda balanced so personally i don't see an issue with my gaming, although i know a lot of people seriously addicted to the point where they are fired from any job they get, being mlg is good but it takes a lot to get there and doesn't always profit how you'd like it to

  33. I have 3 friends that are in professional gaming and are extremely serious about it, if they ever lived in Korean I think they would go insane 😂

  34. Wait, if Koreans are so busy with extremely long work hours, when do they have the time to become addicted to video games? Especially with kids in school all day long?

  35. No Simon, that's so tragic! FFXIV is the best!! D: you could have probably done some computer fiddling and access a server using a Japanese IP address or something. But now you're in Japan so you'll finally get to play it!

  36. england: not affected at all I play all the time anytime in the day😂 -very chill about this issue.

  37. I used to date a handsome, tall guy, who is addicted to League Of Legends. I WAS OVER HIS HOUSE AND HE PLAYED LoL FOR 4 HOURS, COMPLETELY IGNORING ME. THAT SUCKED.

  38. what about if you're just visiting korea? does this law apply to you as well? and how would making an account work if you're just visiting?

  39. Bobby(12):kekeke I can play video games at 1AM because I took my Grandpa's ID
    Police Sounds
    Parents:What the fuck is going on*Yawn*

  40. i think the problem with putting the kids in jail is that they gonna put the kids in jail, thus dropping classes for 2 years to prevent them from dropping class by playing video games

  41. If the Soju Shorts law was real and enforced than TONS of people would be fined and arrested during Summer.

  42. it should be 19 because the age of majority in south korea is 19 years old
    I'm not Korean, I'm American but my Korean age is 15
    Internationally and US is 14

  43. This is why Korea kicks everyone's ass in League of Legends. They play so god damn much.
    Faker OP.

  44. So if you are under 16 and live in Korea you have till midnight and then your game systems become pumkins

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