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Punishment lessened for PC Bang owners who get caught with underage Overwatch players

The punishment for PC Bang owners with underage players was lessened in South Korea.
The popularity of Overwatch and a loophole in South Korean law prevented problems for some PC Bangs until the law was changed.

A previous law in South Korea, punished PC Bang owners for being caught with underage children playing games rated 15 and above, has been relaxed to give establishments a “caution” before being shut down, reports GameMeca’s Kim Mee-hee.

As of Tuesday, the law that read that establishments “prevent teenagers from playing games that have an 18-and-up rating” has been changed to read “prevent all users from playing games above their age rating.” Because the law didn’t explicitly mention underage children playing games for 15 and up, PC Bangs with those offenders weren’t subject to the mandatory warning given violators of the 18-and-up rule.

Ironically, that created a situation where underage children playing games 15 and up carried a heftier punishment for PC Bangs than teenagers playing games rated for adults. By expanding the language to “all users,” that makes sure warnings will be given across the board.

The law’s ambiguity and the popularity of games like Overwatch led to some PC Bangs being forced to suspend business activities if another patron reported the fact that an underage child was playing the game. Some establishments went as far as to ban the entry of customers under the age of 15, since the responsibility — as well as the penalty — was solely on the PC Bangs.

Part of the new measures also gave PC Bangs the ability to be open past the schedule of 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. Previously, PC Bangs that also sold food items were restricted in business hours due to that classification, but now PC Bangs are able to have more flexible schedules.


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