Thai government imposes night curfew on online gaming

Another interesting little news item from GamesIndustry.biz.

“Authorities in Thailand are set to impose a strict curfew on online gaming which will see access to online game servers blocked between 10pm and 6am every day, with Internet cafes also facing curbs to their business hours along the same lines.”

I spent a couple of weeks in Thailand last year (and I recommend it – you can read about my exploits here) and, although I wanted to get away from computer games, I did spend some time in Internet cafes.

“Ragnarok, which recently left its beta testing phase, was introduced to Thailand seven months ago and currently has well over half a million subscribers there.”

Friends of mine were playing Empire Earth from 10PM to 3AM. There were a lot of other people playing Ragnarok.

“As well as the curfew, the measures also include mandatory play breaks every two hours in Internet cafes – presumably an attempt to combat afflictions such as deep vein thrombosis, caused by remaining sedentary for hours at a time, which have killed a number of gamers in the Far East in the past year.”

Did I miss something? Wasn’t there just one case? Wasn’t that a hoax? But in any case, although I don’t play MMOs, it’s fascinating to see the lure of the virtual.