Overnight Banning of MMOs
By: Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
Video Games serve as both passion and addiction. It’s sad that I have to write something negative about MMOs after watching the “Videogames Can Make the World a Better Place” video. I would be lying if I said that MMO gaming or video games in general have nothing but positive effects. Issues like insomnia, violence, and overall irresponsibility are said to be acquired through video games. In an attempt to cease this virtual outbreak, Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism has devised a plan to lessen this particular or would be addiction by imposing an overnight or six-hour blackout on MMO gaming.
Unlike other games, MMOs require a seriously huge amount of time in order for characters to make progress. It is also stated that kids often spend their money on virtual things rather than buying necessities. I for one can relate to this issue as other countries (including mine) are suffering from MMO addiction. Lately, I have been seeing a lot of unemployed people or NEETs (Not Employed, on Education or Training) discard their future for a chance to shine on the virtual plane. It’s a very extreme move, seeing as videogames have become a major part of today’s culture. It may be the ideal cure for some, but is it a full-proof plan overall? Let’s see…
Fighting For Curfew
It was stated that the primary concern is that children have become “OVEREXPOSED” to a world of fantasy and adventure, constantly spending countless hours and investing a gratuitous amount of money on something most people deem irrelevant to everyday life. It’s a drastic move, but a futile attempt nonetheless. The client will also kick under aged users who have been online for a lengthy amount of time, though it’s not like it’s hard to forge information online.
Gamers are given 3 choices for the blackout time: Midnight – 6AM, 1AM – 7AM, or 2AM – 8AM. Sounds like a full proof plan yes? I’m sure those gamers are about to experience the cure for an all-nighter. As I understand it, only underaged users are affected by the said blackout (time to edit those profile kiddies!).
Other than restricting access to minors or under aged users, this new system could actually help them during the Green Movement, a program imposed to lessen the continuous consumption of electricity. This can also help gamers whose body clocks are no longer set properly. This perhaps is the most practical move they could think of at the moment, seeing as the video game addiction has gotten out of hand and out of their control. This new system can actually serve as something healthy for these gaming individuals.
Death through Gaming
I’m a bit confused really, seeing as most of these cases are rather extreme. According to some reports, there have been a series of fatalities caused by virtual gaming. The incidents were said to have been a result of players spending too much time in the virtual plane, eventually forgetting their real life bodies and its necessities. If you think that’s weird, a couple was also reported to have forgotten their responsibilities as parents, leaving their baby to die of starvation while they happily invested their time feeding an online infant. My God! That’s not gaming related right? More like stupidity. Almost the same as those parents blaming DOOM PC and Marilyn Manson for the Columbine Massacre. The insomnia I can understand, but this one is just plain pushing it. Gamers need to invest time in MMOs to progress further, but the cases mentioned above are a product of their own stupidity; however, this ban would most likely straighten them up.
Views on Youth Banning
Gamers aren’t really stupid (except for those mentioned above) and would eventually find a loophole in the system. If they can’t play overnight, they can easily do it in the morning. As an MMO gamer, I try to balance my online time with the real world. It had already occurred to me that they are not trying to lessen the addiction, but KILL the MMO gamers gaming life completely. They have removed the equilibrium or what serves as the thin line that separates their gaming life from their real ones. Now that both worlds have been mixed in one timeframe, I’m expecting unemployment and a lot of nasty school reports (cutting classes). It’s a bit exaggerated for now, but I know a lot of people who have worked their way around the system through this method (*remembers highschool days); still, I really hope this works out for them.
Overnight Banning For Other Countries?
Geez, I hope not. I wouldn’t want to miss all the raids and PVP, especially since my server’s set on western time. I’m not sure really. The system does have a lot of positive effects, but it also kills the gamers’ experience, which most non-gamers would NEVER understand. To them, it’s the same as snakes and ladders; to us, it’s a passion.
It’s not really the games that are causing this. During my interview with Dr. Nicole Escutin, it was stated that the parents are the ones responsible for discipline. Having a strong family structure can break these horrible side effects. Maybe it’s a must for young players since drastic measures should be taken when things get out of hand. According to the good doctor, my claims on school issues are highly possible, seeing that he was with me during those curfew problems in our country. This is a harsh version of gaming moderation. The cases mentioned above are actually quite surprising and should alert citizens into moderating what used to be a harmless hobby; however, it’s not the games that should be moderated, but the individuals who seem to have no idea what’s good for them. Much like the Ministry, gamers are also passionate about what they do and will eventually form up a countermeasure for the online blackouts. In other words, if they are seriously going to continue this campaign, they’re in for a lot of work. I’m sure they mean well, and I wish them the best of luck.