The Chinese Government Limits Online Gaming Time for Minors

Video game hours of minors slashed in China
Video game hours of minors slashed in China Pixabay

A new ruling has been passed by the Chinese government that further limits the playing time of people under the age of 18, according to Chinese state media Xinhua News Agency.

Apparently, minors are only allowed to play on weekends (Friday to Sunday) for just one hour per day, which totals three hours per week. This includes public holidays as well.

The new rule was issued by the National Press and Public Administration or NAAP, China’s top watchdog for gaming and other forms of online media, as a means of curbing gaming addiction among young people.

In 2019, the Chinese government issued a similar ruling, but it was a bit more lenient as minors are allowed to play every single day, albeit for just a total of 90 minutes on regular days and up to three hours on statutory holidays.

According to a NAAP spokesperson, the reason behind the stricter rules is that a lot of parents have expressed their concerns about what gaming addiction can do to their children.

“Many parents have said that the gaming addiction problem among teens and children has gravely affected their ability to learn and study as well as their physical and mental health, even causing a series of societal problems,” the spokesperson said.

This is quite surprising since China is home to a lot of gaming companies, including Tencent, NetEase, and Bilibili, among many others.

Speaking of gaming companies, the enforcement of this new rule rests in the hands of these institutions.

Just recently, Tencent and NetEase were asked to implement new registration and login systems that would require people to use their real names when creating an account.

In addition, Tencent has already used facial recognition technology to help limit the minors’ playing time back in July of this year.

This new stricter ruling was released just a few weeks after the Chinese state media blasted the gaming industry as being a “spiritual opium,” prompting Tencent, the world’s largest gaming company by revenue, to uphold tighter measures.

While stricter rules regarding game time for minors will be implemented in China, the South Korean government is doing something different. It is ending its controversial law that bans children under 16 from playing video games during the wee hours of the night.

What do you think? What can you say about this new ruling?

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