The South Korean government has announced a pair of policies that would block access to online computer games by minors after midnight to help combat the rising problem of video game addiction among youth, reports the Korea Herald. In what’s being touted as the “nighttime shutdown,” the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism hopes the new measures will help eradicate video game addiction among teenagers. According to the ministry, underage users will be forced out of gaming sessions when online access automatically shuts down as soon as the clock strikes midnight. The policy also includes a “slowdown” system in which internet connection speeds will be stifled dramatically if underage users are logged on for a lengthy period of time. These policies will be applicable to popular online games that require users to spend long hours invested in a virtual world. While the policy is the first of its kind to combat online game addiction, critics say underage gamers will simply find ways to get around to the enforcement…

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staff and wire services reports