Due to the peculiarities of the legislation of South Korea, Minecraft in the country automatically became an adult game. Today it is legally possible to play it only from the age of 19. Local teenagers did not like it, and they decided to appeal directly to the president by preparing a petition.

A new petition was created last Friday, according to The Korea Herald. “The Korean gaming market risks becoming the only place where Minecraft is considered an adult game,” the text of the appeal says.

In their petition, the players demand not only to return Minecraft to the 7+ age rating, but also to repeal the law regulating the playing time of minors. The appeal itself has already been signed by over 15 thousand Koreans.

We are talking about the so-called “Cinderella Law”, which came into force in South Korea in November 2011. It prohibits teenagers under 16 from running online games from midnight until six in the morning.

Initially, the law was aimed at combating gambling addiction and sleep disorders in minors. But it turned out to be ineffective.

The fact is that after its introduction, teenagers simply began to steal resident registration numbers (RRN) in order to circumvent restrictions. 

Plus, the law did not take into account the interests of foreign developers, who needed to create a system that filters Korean users by age and restricts their access to games at night.

Microsoft didn’t go for it. Instead, it simply changed regional policy in 2012. According to it, if someone in Korea wants to play the company’s games, they must register via Xbox Live. If the users are 19 or older, then they will be allowed to play Microsoft projects.

This is where the problems for local Minecraft players started. In the case of a login via Xbox Live, users under the age of 19 could not log in to the game. However, after the purchase of Mojang Studios in 2014, Microsoft allowed Korean teenagers to play Minecraft Java Edition without linking to Xbox Live.

It would seem that this solved the problem, but everything changed in December 2020. From that moment on, the company began to require linking to Xbox Live again, which in fact automatically assigned Minecraft an age rating of 19+. The changes are also stated on the official website of the game: “Players from South Korea can purchase and use the Minecraft Java Edition version only after reaching the age of 19.”

South Korean officials, who at one time adopted the “Cinderella Law”, shift all responsibility to Microsoft. According to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Families, any foreign company should adapt to the requirements of other countries.

At the same time, not all politicians in South Korea support the law, which has repeatedly proved its inefficiency in recent years. For example, in 2019, it was found that the sleep time of adolescents has increased by only 90 seconds since the introduction of restrictions.

Some officials doubt the “Cinderella Law”, since most Korean teenagers still play on mobile devices. Some legislators are trying to abolish the restrictions altogether. “The time that children spend playing games should be determined by their parents,” the representative of the opposition party “The Power of the People” believes.

The President of South Korea has not yet responded to the discontent of local teenagers. Apparently, until the possible abolition of the “Cinderella Law” Minecraft will formally remain a game only for adults.

It is noteworthy that last year, President Moon Jae-in and his wife conducted a virtual Minecraft tour of their palace. The action was timed to coincide with the Children’s Day.