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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 10:57 GMT
Malaysia gamers face night curfew
By Jonathan Kent
BBC News, Kuala Lumpur

Gamers in South Korea
Online gaming is hugely popular in Asian nations like South Korea
A Malaysian city is introducing a curfew for online gamers in a bid to stem a rise in the number of addicts.

The authorities in Subang Jaya, near the capital Kuala Lumpur, say that from next year they will close down net cafes which allow patrons to play games late at night.

Politicians decided to take the action after being approached by a worried mother whose son had gone missing.

The teenager was found in a cyber cafe where he had been playing for 48 hours.

Police monitoring

Under rules due to come in next year, cyber cafes will have to set up different areas for gamers and for other internet users.

Gaming areas will need a separate entertainment licence and will be required to close at midnight, even at weekends.

Local lawmakers say they plan to deploy teams of officers to check on popular internet spots.

Those found playing games after midnight will be told to leave, while cafe owners who ignore the rules face having their licences withdrawn.

The plan has met with a mixed response from proprietors and gamers alike.

Some believe the move will cut crime as well as preventing young gamers becoming addicted to their hobby, while gamers have expressed resentment at the intrusion.

Computer gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry which attracts million of players in some Asian countries.

It is a professional sport in South Korea, while in China a dispute over a game earlier this year resulted in murder.

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