The Chinese government has released a new set of rules that aim to combat gaming addiction across China, including no playing video games at night and a limit on screen time.
As reported by The New York Times, the Chinese government claims that video games are responsible for a “rise in nearsightedness” and “poor academic performance.” As such, the government has implemented several rules in an attempt to curb gaming addiction in young people in China.
The new rules, which you can read by clicking the embedded link here, officially ban all under-18s from playing video games between the hours of 10pm and 8am.
Minors also can no longer play more than 90 minutes of games on weekdays, while they get a slightly more generous three hours on weekends and holidays.
Along with limiting time spent playing, the regulations also impose a cap on spending. Young people in China are now restricted to a budget when buying items such as cosmetics or weapons in-game, with the cap varying between $28 and $57 a month based on the player’s age.
The National Press and Publication Administration also said that all under-18s must now use real names and identification numbers when logging in.
These new rules won’t be surprising to anyone who knows the slightest thing about China’s video game industry.
China has always been notorious for censorship and over-regulation in the industry, doing things such as censoring Winnie the Pooh in Kingdom Hearts 3 with a bright white light, revoking a studio’s business license and shutting down the studio just for depicting Chinese president Xi Jinping as Winnie the Pooh, and banning blood, imperial history, and Mahjong from video games.
On the other hand, gaming addiction is starting to become an increasingly worrying threat across the entire world. The NHS in the UK recently opened its first specialist clinic that aims to target gaming addiction and The World Health Organization classified ‘gaming disorder’ as a mental health condition for the first time.
Whether these new rules will actually help in curbing gaming addiction, though, is yet to be seen.