The Chinese government bans minors from playing online games Monday through Thursday, fearing that children could become addicted to games.
On Monday, the country’s National Press and Publications Administration released the new rules, which only allow minors to play online games on Fridays, weekends and holidays. But even then they can only play for an hour, from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The new restrictions apply to Chinese citizens under the age of 18 and take effect immediately. In addition, all online game providers must follow the rules. To do this, China has already asked game companies to implement real name identification systems. This requires consumers who log into a game to first provide a cell phone number, state-issued ID, or even undergo a face scan.
As a result, game companies should theoretically know the ages of all of their customers. Companies that violate age restrictions face potential regulatory crackdown, the Chinese government has warned.
The new rules increase past limitations on video games for minors. In 2019, the country limited playing time for minors to just 1.5 hours on weekdays and three hours on weekends. Gambling at night from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. was prohibited.
In an interview with the Chinese state press, the country’s National Press and Publishing Administration called the 2019 rules an important foundation for tackling underage gambling addiction. However, the government agency says more parents have called for a stronger crackdown.
“Recently, many parents reported that some teens’ addiction to online games seriously affected their normal study life and their physical and mental health, and even caused a series of social problems, causing many parents to suffer serious damage. unspeakable suffering and pain in the hearts of the people, ”the National Administration of Press and Publications said in the interview.
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The new rules are certainly a nightmare for the children of the country. But despite the latest restrictions, there have always been ways to get around China’s past attempts to crack down on video games. One avenue has been to buy video games on the Chinese gray market, where local dealers bring in Xbox and PlayStation consoles bought overseas. These consoles are set to follow the gaming laws of Hong Kong, US, or Japan, so owners should be able to play them for as long as they want.
The news comes as the South Korean government backs down restrictions that were supposed to prevent children under 17 from playing games between midnight and 6 a.m. , but it was largely ineffective, in part because it doesn’t apply to mobile games.
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