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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

This is London

The old donkey Kong is so much fun and funny me and my sister play 2 player and we are so bad XD

Interesting

I am personally not a gamer, and never have been one, so I don't know what exactly to think. I agree that making it a law is a bit "big" in lack of a better term, but I also see what they are saying about so much time on a device when there are plenty of other activities that are just as fun and don't leave you on a device. The brain is such a delicate part of the body, and I see why hours upon hours on a videogame could really hurt it.
This is just my personal opinion, and I truly trust that the Lord is the one in control.

@ whoever

Our doctor said children should only get about 2-3 hours of screen time a DAY (I don’t usually get that much a week!) so I think there is something a little fishy about the commies new rule .

@ GWYNETH C

Yes most Video games are like that but some games (strategy,building,engineering etc ) actually strengthen your thinking kind of like exercising when you exercise your brain the easier it is to do critical thinking like doing a math problem (HINT that’s why in school you get faster and figuring out problems the more you do because the more you do the more “exercise “ your brain gets)

Is London

I know I only get 2 hours on the weekend !!!!! It’s either watch a movie or play a game for that time. My mom always says games are so bad for you watch a movie. But a movie you just sit and watch a game you have to think.

Rocket league is ok but it

Rocket league is ok but it gets boring after playing a few rounds

@Asher E

Yeah. XD But unfortunately, since the stuff they teach in public schools doesn't affect people's screen lives, they don't rise up to fight against it like they would for video games. *facepalm*

@Addie L

I mean, hey, Algebra? Or Halo? Pretty easy choice for me...

This is London

Nintendo all the way lol

This is London

The games are a lot more safe than the other counsel

@HESPERUS D

I know. M rated doesn't always mean bad. Ive just never played any

@Caden W

gotcha

@Twin S

Yes, Nintendo generally has more kid friendly games available on their consoles than PlayStation or Xbox. (But for the record, the Wii had at least two different Call of Duty games XD)

True

True

I sometimes play more than 2

I sometimes play more than 2-3hours in one day. I sometimes spend up to 5 hours (Normally when I'm playing with friends)

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