High School Student Crowdfunds Legal Fees to Sue Over Game Ordinance
posted on by Kim Morrissy
In May, a mother and her 17-year-old son filed a lawsuit against the Kagawa Prefecture, claiming that a recent ordinance restricting video game playing time among children is "unconstitutional" and "violates fundamental human rights." They are seeking 1.54 million yen (approximately US$14,300) in damages.
In June, the son, who goes by the name "Wataru," launched a crowdfunding campaign on Campfire to raise 5 million yen for the lawsuit (approximately US$46,500), which will take place in September. On Tuesday, he reported that the campaign has reached its goal. The campaign will continue until August 22.
The ordinance took effect on April 1, following discussions in the assembly and a majority vote. It aims to combat video game addiction, and marks the first time a local government in Japan has set guidelines restricting video game and smartphone usage.
The guidelines restrict children under the age of 18 to 60 minutes of video game playing or smartphone usage per weekday and 90 minutes on weekends. It also forbids children under the age of 18 from using game devices after 10pm, or 9pm for children under the age of 12.
Although the prefecture has no plans to enforce penalties on households that do not comply with the ordinance and ask that households apply rules under their own discretion, the law has attracted opposition on democratic principles. The Kagawa Bar Association requested an immediate repeal of the ordinance in late May.
In June, a college student was arrested for sending a threatening message to a Kagawa prefectural assembly member.
Source: Game Spark