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China Changes Gaming Rules
News Bytes 09/7/2021 65 Comments

Last week, China introduced new rules. They aren’t about the economy or family size in the communist country. Instead, the new legislation limits how much time children under age 18 can spend playing video games. Government officials say the law intends to combat gaming addiction.

Under the new law, three hours per week is the absolute maximum amount of time citizens under 18 will be allowed for video gaming in China.

China is the world’s largest video games market. According to state media, about 62.5% of Chinese minors often play games online. Chinese authorities have worried for years about gaming and internet addiction among its young people.

Chinese officials say the new rules are a response to growing concern that games are affecting the physical and mental health of the next generation. Clinics have been set up that combine therapy and military drills for those with so-called “gaming disorders.” And officials say rising rates of nearsightedness have been a concern since 2018.

One online gamer known as “Mr. Zhou,” believes the country cannot control people’s game time. “People in the end can always play on another account or buy accounts from adults.” He points out that, for teenagers, “the less [time] you get, the more curious you’ll be.”

Gaming limits aren’t a completely foreign concept in China. In 2017, Tencent Holdings limited playtime for some young users of its mobile game “Honor of Kings.” The limits came after parents and teachers complained that children were becoming addicted.

In 2019, Beijing passed laws limiting minors to less than 1.5 hours of online games on weekdays and three hours on weekends.

This July, Tencent went further. The company rolled out facial recognition technology called “midnight patrol.” Parents can switch on the function to prevent children from using adult logins to get around the government curfew.

Professor Chen Jiang teaches about the gaming industry at Peking University. “There are always loopholes,” he says. He references adults who rent accounts to young people and mobile phone alterations for gaming. Chen also predicts “human skin masks” to hide identities. (That really does begin to sound like the kind of desperation associated with true addiction.)

Some lawbreakers need look no further than home for a workaround for China’s new rules: Chen thinks “parents themselves are willing to help children in the family unlock [controls] as long as they have their permission.”

According to Chen, the “policy is certainly not a one-size-fits-all hack to kill the possibility of all young people playing games.” But he says, “It can be done.”

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. — 1 Corinthians 6:12

What do you think about limits to video games set by a government? What is a reasonable limit?

(A graphic from the popular video minigame series, WarioWare. Graphic: Business Wire)

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Most recent comments

1st comment lol

In my opinion, it is the parent's job to monitor the amount of time their children spend on video games. Not the government. And plus, it could encourage law-breaking - even if kids broke a "less serious'' rule such as this, it could lead them to law-breaking in the future.


Wow! I only spend 6 hours a week on a Saturday] playing videogames.

3rd comment

I agree with Mirela. My dad talked about this the other day. He said they are also very limited on what video games they can play, because it has to be promoting Chine, and the People, and Communism. The government is fearful of outside world influence. I don't ever play video games.

Warioware is awesome. I'm

Warioware is awesome. I'm excited for Get it Together! Also, I don't think the government should control that.

Yeah, this really ain't the

Yeah, this really ain't the government's business. I mean, their idea sounds good in theory, but that really should up to parents, not government. 'Sides. You either got (A) kids addicted to games, or (B) little Commie zombies who might do anything their government tells them to to get their restriction extended. I'd say of the lesser two evils, it would just be better for them to sit there gaming all day then serve the Communist regime. (And, while all that stuff sounds incredibly annoying, it's opening doors for more spyware)

Btw, for you gamers out there

Btw, for you gamers out there, what're your favorite video games, and what console do you use?

@Hesperus D

I primarily play My Singing Monsters on mobile. Outside of that, I play Skylanders, Mario Kart, and Lego Star Wars on the Wii and Rocket League on PC.

8th Comment

Yeah, I don't the Government should control gaming time but I don't thing that its bad law necessarily, if your parent made it, but the government should't be able to make that a rule for you, its your own problem :)
Besides that's not going to be a problem fro me cause we don't really do any games, we don't not allow them we just don't ever get them, although we have the Wii for rainy days ( though it gets turned on on not rainy day XD ) we just have the Wii sports like tennis and stuff like that.


There's supposed to be "think" in front of Government
fro = for

This is Mylee

I love wario XD. I agree with Mirela the government shouldn't monitor this but parents. True that some kids play way too much but still... I play manly nintendo games like animal crossing,mario,rocket leaque , arms,splatoon,Party games and a few others. Also among us :). I use to play roblox but there were way to many scammers and stuff... :(

@Hesperus D

We have a lot of Wii and Wii U games such as:
Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)
Mario Party 10 (Wii U)
Super Smash Bros (Wii U
Yoshi Wooly World (Wii U)
Mario 3-D World (Wii U)
New Super Mario Bros. (Wii U)
And the Wii games we have are:
Mario Kart
Super Mario Bros.
Wii Sports
Mario Galaxy 2 (Possibly 1)
Family Game Night 3
Lego Indiana Jones (I've never played that)
Lego Harry Potter
Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (Never played that one either)
And then we have a NES (I think) so there are games on there.
And we also have an ATARI thing and games for that (I don't think it works though)
And THEN I have a Kindle fire so there are games on there.


The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
They are paving as fast as they possibly can.


I like Minecraft, Breath of the Wild, Animal Crossing New Horizons, Sid Meier's Civilization VI, and other Nintendo Wii and Switch games. (Gear Club is another good one.) (We just got Lego Worlds, so I've been trying that out.)

The government should not

The government should not control that.

this is mylee

@Kiara we have most of those too !! WE have a wii, wii u , nes ,super nes,and a switch. ALL of our ds 2ds and 3ds es broke...And another counsle we had but i forget which one.

this is mylee

@Addie i love anamial crossing pocket camp !! BUt my dad won't buy new horizens.... He thinks it's a waste (Cause he won't play it )But LOndon and I are planning on buying it for christmas :).Have you defeted breath of the wild ? My brother has defeted it like 2 times . Now he is just going around finding secrets .

@Addie L

I used to play Minecraft, I want to play Breath of the Wild sometime, and I played Lego Worlds, and didn't care for it. You might like it tho, cuz you can build a lot of stuff, if you have patience.

@Asher E

I've heard of Rocket League, but never played it for myself.

19th comment

It's not the government's business how much screen time people get. Yes, many people are addicted to screens, but it's the parent's jobs to protect their kids, not the government.

i love videogames this stinks

3 hours a WEEK? That is insanely nutso nope no way poor kids. I spend something like 5-6 hours a week playing videogames (spread out on different days). I usually play Minecraft but sometimes I'll play old games (when your dad was a kid era, they are fun) like Mario Kart 64 (and original) Mario 1-3 and super mario world plus tons of late 1900's super nintendo games and older versions of newer games.

Name Fsarndrone wish I could post a screen shot

Right now I play mostly stormworks which has pretty simple and complex building ,towing , rescueing nuclear reactors steam engines jet engines and soon coming (weapons dlc) and way more it’s a pretty all round game it can be building simulater search and rescue simulator towing simulator all in one. but I have fs19 , space engineers, mud runner, emergNYC (pre alpha version), take on mars and a few phone games like Fs20 Megapolis UCaptain

this is mylee

@Micah yup we play those games too. My Dad plays with us LOL. On our nes and super nes we have a ton of games that we played to get downloaded on it :).


I feel like this could be a good idea, but also could be really bad. Hm.. I guess we'll see. @Hesperus, I play League of Legends mostly, and it is super fun! I think my family doesn't play as many video games as some because we have to exercise for computer time mostly. We get an hour free on Saturdays and sometimes our parents just give us some, but mostly it's exercising! I don't like exercising, but I just started doing a running thing so now I'll be playing more! Sorry if this is TMI, I actually don't know why I'm putting it up. :)

Video Games

It is terrible that the government is limiting video games. I usually play at lest 2 hours of minecraft a week


I have not defeated BOTW, but my sister has. I am almost there. (Just got the Master Sword and have all the Divine Beasts) I haven't played it in a while. I do not have Pocket Camp, but ACNH is fun for the first 30 hours or so and then it gets more boring just because that's how long it takes to finish the game. I've had ACNH for a little over a year, and I finished the game about 6 months ago. (We have screen time pretty much every week, but I take turns on the Switch with my 4 siblings, one hour each, so I don't get a turn every time.) If you're dedicated and have a week of solid Switch time on your hands, it won't take long at all. (Especially if you time travel.) (Look it up) But there are so many seasonal things to do, that even after you finish the game you can keep doing fun stuff.
Hesperus, BOTW is probably the best video game I have ever played. It's not my favorite, but I recognize it as incredible. Twilight Princess is good too.
Scarlett, I totally agree.

@Addie L

Yes, I've heard good things about it. It looks fun. Ik of Twilight Princess, but you should look Ocarina of Time. It's up there with BotW.

Anyone play Destiny, 1 or 2?

Anyone play Destiny, 1 or 2?


I would love to try Ocarina of Time! Is it on the Wii or on the Nintendo Switch? Those are our two consoles.

this is mylee

I though ACNH was a never ending game ?? It said that one the comercial .

@Addie L

Neither, but the Wii can play GameCube, and if you can find a GameCube controller, memory card and Legend of Zelda GameCube collector's edition disc, you can. Or get a Nintendo 64. XD

dang- i play video games

dang- i play video games everyday for hours- glad don't live in china, also for many other reasons. r.i.p =l

the games i enjoy, are

the games i enjoy, are minecraft, roblox, breath of the wild, blockstarplanet, fnaf, nd more qwp-

the games i enjoy, are

the games i enjoy, are minecraft, roblox, breath of the wild, blockstarplanet, fnaf, nd more qwp-

That was probably the longest

That was probably the longest comment I ever typed.


Those poor kids! I feel so bad for them, they should at least get half an hour a day!


I get an hour a week and sometimes I skip it because there are better things to do.

@Kylie T

Pretty much my sentiments exactly. I'd be so ticked if they tried that garbage here in America.

@Hesperus D

I'm sure a lot of people would feel the same if that happened.

@Hesperus D

Keyword being "tried" there's no way that it would work here. People would get around it real quick.

@Asher E

Absolutely. Too many people would rise up against the politicians and vote them out if they tried that anyway.

Wow, that's terrible.

Wow, that's terrible.
Personally, I think video games are boring, but if kids want to play more than three hours a week, that's theirs and their parent's business- not the government's.
*sighs* Communists- Such busy-bodies.


I like most all Nintendo games except the really bad ones ERSB rating M


do any of you have a WiiU and/or a Switch?


you have a lot of Nintendo!


I have a Switch and WiiU and Laptop with Minecraft Java Edition


You play Splatoon? Which one? I play Splatoon 1 and 2.


Switch-LoZ games Mario games Minecraft-Java&Bedrock&Dungeons SmashBros Splatoon2
WiiU-(The WiiU can play Wii games so Im going to list them here too) Minecraft, Splatoon1, MarioKart MarioBros, Lego games, BoTW, PixelActionHeros(GoogleIt,ItsLikeMinecraftWithGuns)NintendoLand,DonkeyKong,LegoCityUndercover,- -Wii: Cabelas Hunting Sim 2009, WiiSports, Madden, 20kBaseball, Mariobaseball, Golf. ETC
Computer: Minecraft Java edition: Servers: play .cubecraft. net, play .wynncraft. com.(website wynncraft. com, play .HavokMC. net if you want to friend me on any of these servers do /friend MCBuilder106

@Caden W

Fyi, not all M rated games are bad, but they definitely can be.

@Caden W

Nope. My dad does tho

This is London

I play Mario I just defeated odyssey (well it said I defeated it but there is still a bunch of moons and new lands )
Super smash bros. A lot of Nintendo Luigis mansion, splatoon. I haven’t played a lot of Zelda. Our nes and super nes have all the games you could ever get . I been wanted to play Kirby and animal crossing . I like family and party games to . What games do y’all like from the App Store? A lot of them seem to be cheap. Do any of y’all play genshin impact I have seen so many people have that and I was wondering how it is?


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