Cinderella Law and its Failure
From Loving Games to Studying Games
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Growing up as a boy who loved to play games, Hong Sung-hyeob (Economics and Finance, Master’s Degree) has been growing his interest and passion for games until he sought his career in the company Nexon, one of the most successful online game producers of Korea. He recently published his master’s thesis on the topic of ineffectiveness of the Cinderella Law in Korea (shutting down of online games for adolescent from midnight to six in the morning) and revealed that the law is far from reaching its goals of guaranteeing teens’ sufficient amount of sleep by reducing the time for online games.
“Games are my life!”
Nexon was Hong’s first job, which he sought out of his pure enthusiasm for online games. During his interview for the job, Hong’s answer for the question why he applied for Nexon was fascinating: he was born for games, which genuinely reflected his heart for games. While Hong was working in the company, he did not belong to the game development department. Instead, he was doing subsidiary tasks such as managing games and their exports and creating events in the games.
As a game lover, however, he wanted to do more than just ancillary jobs and do something worthwhile, incorporating his studies of Economics and Finance. The unprecedented topic he chose for his master’s thesis is regarded as an unique one, as it is somewhat irrelevant to the field. Nonetheless, Hong mentioned, “a lot of professors expressed their positive opinion toward my paper because it was something they’ve never handled before and the fresh topic was being dealt with from the perspective of our field for the first time.”
As soon as he entered the graduate school, Hong was determined that his thesis paper would deal with any topics related to online games, because he wanted to research and analyze what he was truly interested in. When it was time for him to decide his topic, he realized that the Cinderella Law is one of the controversies regarding online games, as there has been heated debates on whether the law should be abolished or not. He puts an extra significance on the fact that he chose what he loved for his thesis incorporating what he studied at school. In other words, researching and analyzing statistics and data related to online games from the perspective of an economist was something special for Hong.
Cinderalla Law without returning Cinderellas
The whole point of the Cinderella Law was to ensure sufficient amount of sleeping time for adolescent students who love to play games throughout the nights, as sleep critically affects their development. However, as Hong proved in his paper, the law was nowhere near reaching its goal. Statistics show that the amount of time adolescent students sleep before and after the law was implemented was, bizarrely, the same, indicating that the law is simply being futile and pointless.
Hong used Korea Media Panel Survey Statistic’s data as the basis for his paper. The statistics testify the age range to time slot of online game players. By analyzing these data, Hong was able to extract the amount of sleep adolescents got before and after the law was implemented. The result, surprisingly, was only five or six minutes difference, and even that difference cannot be accounted by the law.
There are three main reasons why the Cinderella Law is ineffective: students take advantage of their parents’ ID or residence number to get around the law, they play smartphone games as much as online games (smartphone games are not targeted by the law), and only domestic games are subject to the law. These reasons account for the failures of the law, clarified Hong in his paper.
Jeon Chae-yun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Kim Youn-soo
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