The Chinese government is banning minors from playing online games from Monday through Thursday, citing fears children are becoming addicted to gaming.On Monday, the country’s National Press and Publication Administration issued the new rules, which only permit minors to play online games on Friday, the weekends, and on holidays.But even then, they can only play for one 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 gaming providers must follow the rules.To do so, China has already been requiring game companies to implement real-name identification systems.
This forces consumers who sign into a game to first provide a mobile phone number, state-issued ID, or even undergo a facial scan.As a result, game companies should theoretically know the ages of all their customers.Companies that fail to implement the age restrictions face a potential regulatory crackdown, the Chinese government has warned.
The new rules crank up past limitations on video gaming for minors.Back in 2019, the country limited play time for minors to only 1.5 hours on the weekdays, and three hours on the weekends.Gaming into the night from 10 p.m.to 8 a.m.
was barred.In an interview with Chinese state press, the country’s National Press and Publication Administration called the 2019 rules an important foundation to fighting game addiction among minors.However, the government agency claims more parents have demanded a stronger crackdown.“Recently, many parents have reported that some teenagers’ addiction to online gaming has seriously affected their normal study life and physical and mental health, and even caused a series of social problems, causing many parents to suffer unspeakably and become a pain in the hearts of the people,” the National Press and Publication Administration said in the interview.The new rules are certainly a nightmare for kids in the country.But despite the latest restrictions, there’s always been ways to skirt China’s past attempts to crack down on video gaming.One avenue has involved buying from China’s gray market for video games, where local dealers bring in Xbox and PlayStation consoles purchased overseas.
These consoles are configured to follow Hong Kong, U.S., or Japanese game laws, and thus owners should be able to game on them for however long they like.The news comes as South Korea’s government backs down on restrictions that were supposed to prevent children under the age of 17 from playing games between midnight and 6 a.m.The so-called “Shutdown Law” provision of the Youth Protection Revision Act was enacted in November 2011, but it was largely ineffective, in part because it doesn’t apply to mobile games..