NetEase Increases Parental Control With Child Guardian

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NetEase announced that is upgrading its current anti-addiction game system. Called “child guardian,” the new feature allows parents not only to monitor, but even control the time that children can spend on the company’s 15 different major titles. A more important function is that parents can now also control the money being spent.

There is no doubt that the move is laudable though it comes at least two years after Tencent introduced its very own “super parent” feature. Back then, the feature became a hit with parents as it gave them the power to kick kids out of a game by merely pressing a button.

It was back in January when NetEase released its anti-addiction game system. The goal was to ensure a more positive gaming environment that helps with a child's healthy growth. One feature of the system creates a curfew as long as 11 hours. During that period, any underage player will be unable to log-in and play. The system limits total playing time as well. For example, for children under 12 years of age, the system allows them to play a maximum of one hour on weekdays and two hours on weekends.

This latest feature does not have the same functionality as the one being offered by Tencent, as NetEase wanted to give parents more flexibility in terms of managing their children’s play time. Thus, while it may be unable to kick a child out of a game, it can monitor how long the child has been playing and what time the child started playing. It does this to the last second. Parents are also allowed to set times that access to the game is to be blocked in advance.

Parents are sure to love the feature that limits the in-game spending. It does not totally ban in-game spending, but rather sets an upper limit for a certain period of time. In order to be able to activate this new feature, parents and children need to undergo the real-name verification system.

As a game developer and publisher in China, NetEase, along with Tencent, have long been pressured by the Chinese government to curb video game addiction. The two companies have since been putting in place different measures in order to comply with the demands of the regulators.

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