China Cuts Children’s Online Gaming to One Hour

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Gamers throughout China are worried because of the new regulation that the country has put into place. According to the new laws, online gamers who are under the age of 18 will only be allowed to play games for an hour on Fridays, weekends, and other holidays that might come during the year.  

The National Press and Publication Administration issued a statement through the state-run news agency Xinhua which said that gamers younger than 18 years old would only be allowed to play games on certain days between 8pm and 9pm. 

Aside from instructing gamers, the gaming companies have also been instructed to prevent children from playing outside the recommended hours. The Chinese government has a different outlook on video games, and they even branded online games as “spiritual opium.” After the new regulation is enforced, inspection on online gaming companies will also increase to ensure that time limits are not being violated. 

Before this new regulation was introduced, previous rules limited children to ply online games for just 90 minutes a day except on holidays where they could play games for 3 hours. The move is part of the idea that excessive gaming can have a lasting impact on the young. A month before the announcement of the new rules, an article said children had become addicted to online gaming, and that was having a negative impact on them. 

Following the article, there was a significant wall in the share value of some of the biggest online gaming companies in China. In July, Chinese gaming giant Tencent said they were rolling out facial recognition software to stop children from playing between 8:00 and 22:00. This move came when there were reports that children were using adult IDs to circumvent rules. 

This is not the kind of news that millions of Chinese gamers were looking forward to. However, it is something that was not hard to foresee as Chinese authorities have been concerned about gaming addiction for a long time.  

The country seems to be at a crossroads as they have been expanding technology are also worried about the well-being of their young generation. The idea behind these new rules is that the Chinese government hopes that they will spread positive energy among the youth and educate them in the right areas. 

The new rules came after the Chinese government’s crackdown against tech giants such as Didi, Tencent, and Alibaba. Beijing believes that private tutoring and celebrity fan culture is bad for the youth.  

Many parents in China have welcomed the gaming restrictions, but there are also others who have criticized the government’s interference on social media. As the new law is being implemented, it remains to be seen what kind of effects it might have on the youth. Whether the results are positive or not remains to be seen. In any case, gamers in China will not be thrilled. 

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