- China is imposing a strict time limit on video game playing for children.
- Kids are allowed one hour for gaming, from 8 to 9 p.m., on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
- The restrictions are further cutting back the already limited time kids in China have to play games.
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In China, people under 18 are having their gaming time cut to just three hours each week – one hour on Friday, one on Saturday, and one on Sunday, from 8 to 9 p.m.
That’s according to the Chinese government, as reported by the South China Morning Post. The move enacts even stricter time limits on gaming time for kids in a country that already limits gaming time to just an hour and a half daily.
China’s biggest gaming companies, Tencent and NetEase, are imposing the restrictions directly through their respective login systems. Users are only able to log in using their real names, and all online games must be registered through China’s state-run anti-addiction program.
The new rules, China’s government said, are intended to curb “gaming addiction.”
The World Health Organization first recognized an addictive behavior pattern known as “gaming addiction disorder” in 2018, and characterized someone suffering from the disorder as exhibiting, “significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”
The fall is a perfect storm for burnout
For years, China has instituted various rules surrounding children playing video games.
Starting in 2019, with the “Notice on Preventing Minors from Indulging in Online Games,” China began imposing strict limits on play time and how much money could be spent in-game by people under 18. Additionally, any online game accounts were required to be tied to real-name verification tools.
The latest move further tightens those restrictions on play time to specific days.
China is the world’s largest gaming market, and Tencent Games is among the world’s largest game companies. It owns “League of Legends” and “Valorant” maker Riot Games and “Clash of Clans” maker Supercell, it holds an over 40% stake in “Fortnite” maker Epic Games, and it makes “Honor of Kings,” which is a hugely popular game in the company’s home market.
In July, Tencent implemented a facial scan feature into its smartphone games as part of the Chinese government’s monitoring of children playing video games.
The company’s stock took a slight hit on Monday, down from $US59 ($AU81) to $US57 ($AU78), on news of the tighter gaming restrictions.
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