Three hours per week. That’s the maximum amount of time people under 18 in China can spend on video games. This decision was made to fight game addiction even more aggressively.
China is the largest video game market in the world. Authorities have been worried for years about game and internet addiction among young people.
The National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA), which administers the approval of video game titles, said the new regulations were in response to growing concern that video games affect the physical and mental health of children.
Game addiction among teenagers has been a problem in China for many years.
According to Chinese media, about 62.5% of Chinese teenagers regularly play online games. Rising rates of myopia are seen as a concern in 2018. Clinics are even combining therapy and military training for people with “gaming disorder”.
Chinese regulators have also stepped up their crackdown on the private tutoring industry and the celebrity idol movement in recent weeks, citing the need to ensure a good development environment for children.
“Every person has different levels of self-control. They can also get different levels of parental supervision and social attention,” said Zhou, an online game player. other complicating factors, such as educational background from school and family, this is not something the government can easily control, as players can still use an account in the end. or buy an account from an adult. I don’t think the new rule makes any sense. Although it’s meant to help teenagers, the more they’re banned from playing, the more curious they become.”
Has the same rule been applied before?
Limiting gaming hours is not a completely foreign concept in China.
In 2017, Tencent Holdings limited time for some young users in its flagship phone game “Honour of Kings”, after parents and teachers complained that many children were becoming addicted. play this game.
Two years later, Beijing passed a law limiting minors to playing online games to less than 1.5 hours on weekdays and 3 hours on weekends. At the same time, the authorities also imposed more regulations on how much minors can spend on virtual game items.
In July, Tencent rolled out a facial recognition function dubbed “midnight patrol” that parents can turn on to prevent kids from using adult credentials.
Peking University professor Chen Jiang said: “There are always loopholes. I can imagine that other countries have started to deal with this. For example, account leasing, which means that adults give them money. kids rent accounts, or modify cell phones, or there will be human skin masks in the future, and in fact, what we see may be parents themselves willing to help their children unlocked as long as they have their permission, so this policy is certainly not an optimal way to eliminate all chances of a child’s gaming, but in general, it is doable. “.
How will China enforce the regulations?
Effective regulation is up to the gaming industry, not the individual. Online game companies must ensure that they have a real-name verification system in place and that all games can be connected to the anti-addiction system established by the NPPA.
The NPPA agency told Xinhua news agency it will:
– Increase frequency and intensity of testing to ensure games have limited settings
– Strengthening measures to punish game companies that violate regulations
– Increased penalties given after checking