In what it describes as an effort to mitigate its youth from becoming video game addicts, the Chinese government announced a new policy on Monday that would limit the amount of time children under the age of 18 can spend playing video games online. The new regulation allows minor children one hour of play between 8 and 9 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
That’s a total of 3 hours per week and only on the weekends.
How It Works
The regulations will be enforced upon the gaming industry itself. In 2019, the National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA), the Chinese agency that regulates video game companies in China, mandated that players use their real names and an identification number while playing online. At that time online gaming was also limited to 1.5 hours per day on weekdays, and 3 hours on weekends. The latest regulations reduce that time significantly.
Players will still have to log in using their name and identification, and those under the age of 18 will automatically have their time regulated by their online game provider. Providers will be monitored by the Chinese government and those who are not compliant will face disciplinary action.
The new regulations were released just as the new school semester began. The Chinese government cited an interference with studies as well as an increasing problem with video game addiction as the impetus for the more restrictive guidelines.
China is the largest gaming market in the world. The new time limits are leaving young gamers upset and concerned that they will no longer be competitive in the world of esports, because they now lack the ability to practice. The impact of these newest regulations remains to be seen, but the world is definitely watching.