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China Enforces Stringent Limitations on Children’s Gaming Time


China Enforces Stringent Limitations on Children’s Gaming Time

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Speaking from the perspective of someone who indulges in a borderline excessive amount of video games daily, I comprehend the inclination to restrict children’s gaming activities. I acknowledge, I do somewhat desire I had reduced it somewhat as a child (although presently as an adult, I will engage in as many games as I desire, thank you kindly). Nonetheless, this responsibility primarily falls on the parents rather than the government, making China’s latest regulation somewhat unsettling.

The Chinese authorities have declared that, commencing on September 1, Chinese minors under 18 years old will only be allowed a maximum of three hours of online gaming per week, exclusively on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and specified public holidays. The government mandates that Chinese-owned online gaming firms such as Tencent enforce this recent directive by suspending access to minors during non-allowable hours. Furthermore, all Chinese online gaming entities must enforce user registration with genuine identities moving forward, ostensibly to prevent minors from circumventing the system by using adult IDs.

This action represents the most recent effort by the Chinese government to combat gaming addictions among children. State-controlled Chinese publications have condemned gaming as detrimental to the physical and mental well-being of children, with one even going as far as to label it as “spiritual opium.”

That being said, understanding children’s nature, it is likely that they will find loopholes to satisfy their desires. Many have already identified gaps in the new regulation; notably, it only pertains to online games requiring constant internet connectivity, glaringly absent are offline and console-based games. Additionally, it remains uncertain whether foreign titles from non-Chinese companies will be subject to the same regulations.

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