Microsoft Bans All South Korean Kids From Minecraft

As Minecraft accounts migrate into Microsoft ones, children in South Korea are falling foul of a country’s law.

Microsoft's Minecraft ban

South Korean children who love Minecraft are about to get a nasty shock when the game no longer lets them play. As Minecraft accounts are migrated into Microsoft ones, an old fix for a South Korean law is about to bite younger players out of seemingly nowhere.

Why Is Microsoft Banning South Korean Children From Minecraft?

News broke on the Yonhap News Agency about this development. Minecraft is currently in the process of migrating accounts from its own system into Microsoft’s, but you need to be 19 or over to own a Microsoft account in South Korea.

This is due to what’s known as “Cinderella law” in the country. The law dictates that children under the age of 16 are banned from playing videogames past midnight until 6 am to help curb late-night sessions and stop gaming addiction.

Related: It’s Official: Video Game Addiction Is Real

Different games companies have implemented different systems to help kids obey this law, but Microsoft has taken a more drastic path. It decided to outright ban people under 19 from making a Microsoft account, so it can’t fall foul of the law.

As such, when Minecraft accounts migrate into Microsoft ones, lots of kids will find that they’ll be locked out of the game due to the tech giant’s rules. This, in turn, has caused anger toward both Microsoft’s plans and the Cinderella law.

Angry Minecraft fans have started a petition on the government’s website, which has already accrued over 67,000 signatures. The petition’s description does not mince words:

The shutdown system has … diminished the rights of underage gamers and related industries, isolating the South Korean market and is merely a rule convenient for administrative purposes, The shutdown system must be completely abolished.

A Microsoft spokesperson stated that the company plans to get a “longer term solution” implemented later in 2021, and that it should allow both “existing and new players under the age of 19 in South Korea” to get back into Minecraft once more.

Minecraft Is Mine, Says South Korea’s Youth

As Minecraft accounts migrate into Microsoft ones, young gamers in South Korea will find themselves banned from playing the game. Hopefully Microsoft’s proposed solution comes sooner rather than later, so that kids can get back into what they love best.

In fact, the ban may harm more than just a kid’s ability to play; it may also harm their desire to learn. There are plenty of ways that young gamers can get involved with STEM-related Minecraft activities, such as Hour of Code.

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