China has introduced a video gaming curfew on minors as part of a move to combat a supposed video game addiction.
The curfew was announced on Tuesday by the National Press and Publication Administration and bans people under the age of 18 from playing games online between 10 PM and 8 AM. The new law also restricts minors to only 90 minutes of video games on weekdays and three hours on weekends and bank holidays.
Reports also state that the new rules impose a spending limit on online games of no more than 200 yuan (Equivalent to $29 or £22.36) a month for those under 16 and 400 yuan (Equivalent to $57 or £44.72) a month for those aged between 16 and 18. The rules also force minors to use their real names and identification numbers when logging in to play.
A spokesperson for the National Press and Publication Administration told news agency Xinhua that video game companies are required to enforce the rules and those who fail to do so will have their business licenses revoked.
According to The Guardian, many Chinese citizens questioned how the laws would be enforced on blog site Weibo, suggesting that minors may use the identification numbers of their parents to bypass the restrictions.
However, government officials have since stated that they will work to create an identification system to prevent minors from bypassing the laws. A spokesperson said:
“We will also gradually improve and enrich the functions of an identification system to share gaming time data across platforms, so we can know and restrict the total time every minor spends on gaming across platforms.”
The announcement comes after China’s leader Xi Jinping criticised video games last year, leading the country’s education ministry to implement new regulations which restrict the number of new video game releases and restrict the total time allowed to play games.
The Chinese government has also introduced new rules which ban video games that are sexually explicit and depict gambling and strong or bloody violence. The new rules are part of a move to combat video game addiction in children which the Chinese government claims is damaging their health.
Video Game Regulation Across The World
The news comes as countries across the world are tightening regulations on video games. Earlier this year in the UK, the NHS launched its first-ever video game addiction treatment clinic which provides support to video game addicts aged 12 to 25.
It’s been reported that GPs can refer addicts to the facility where they will receive advice and help in combating the disorder.
Meanwhile, several countries have begun taking a stand against loot boxes, items which can be bought with real money but cannot be seen until they have been purchased, as they are often linked to gambling.
Belgium banned the sale of loot boxes this year and officials in the UK have urged the government and the UK Gambling Commission to implement regulations or restrictions, although nothing has been done yet.
Credit: Photo by Kamil S on Unsplash
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