The wholesome, block builder game Minecraft is now restricted to adults aged 19 and up in South Korea. The new age restriction on the game stems from a change implemented as a result of a 2011 law meant to prevent children from playing games into the long hours of the night and early morning. The timing of the change appears to be connected to Microsoft’s announcement late last year that it would be changing how people signed into the game.
The Korea Herald (via GI.biz) reported on the change made to Minecraft’s age restrictions in South Korea this week. A law passed in 2011 which was referred to as the “Cinderella law” prohibited children from playing online games between midnight and 6 a.m. in efforts to prevent sleep loss in children who stayed up into the wee morning hours playing Minecraft and other games.
Microsoft responded to that new law years ago by requiring people to say through their Xbox Live accounts that they were indeed 19 years old in order to play online in Microsoft’s games. Because people can easily sign into their Mojang accounts to play Minecraft instead of using a Microsoft account, players had a workaround to avoid the situation.
That changed, however, whenever Mojang announced the new plans for the sign-in process. Late last year, Mojang said people would be required to use a Microsoft account to sign in. The Microsoft-owned company said the change was being made to better support players by keeping their accounts safe.
“We have decided to move away from legacy accounts to better protect our players, increase overall account security, and introduce new safety features,” Mojang said last year. “Because we can’t do this with legacy accounts, we made the decision to use Microsoft accounts instead of building new ones from scratch. The biggest added benefit to migrating your account is the option to enable two-factor authentication. We will roll out additional player safety features over time.”
The move was mandatory, so everyone had to make the jump no matter how long you’d been playing or how you’d prefer to sign into the game.
According to The Korea Herald, South Korea’s Ministry of Gender Equality and Family which played a significant role in the Cinderella law said Microsoft’s policies are to blame for the situation. Issues related to the Cinderella law and its efficiency have once again been brought into question as a result of this development.