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90 Minutes a Day, Until 10 p.m.: China Sets Rules for Young Gamers

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Officials say regulations are meant to curb video game addiction, which they blame for a rise in nearsightedness and poor academic performance.

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BEIJING — No playing video games after 10 p.m. No more than 90 minutes of gaming on weekdays. Want add-ons like virtual weapons and costumes? Keep it to $57 a month.
The Chinese government has released new rules aimed at curbing video game addiction among young people, a problem that top officials believe is to blame for a rise in nearsightedness and poor academic performance across a broad swath of society.
The regulations, announced by the National Press and Publication Administration on Tuesday, ban users younger than 18 from playing games between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. They are not permitted to play more than 90 minutes on weekdays and three hours on weekends and holidays.
The limits are the government’s latest attempt to rein in China’s online gaming industry, one of the world’s largest, which generates more than $33 billion in annual revenue and draws hundreds of millions of users.

Under President Xi Jinping, officials in China have taken a more forceful approach in regulating large technology companies and pushing them to help spread cultural values advanced by the ruling Communist Party.
Video games have become a popular target. The state-run media has likened some games to “poison,” and the government has blocked sales of some titles on the grounds that they are too violent.
Mr. Xi spoke publicly last year about the scourge of poor eyesight among children, putting more pressure on officials to act.
The National Press and Publication Administration said that minors would be required to use real names and identification numbers when they logged on to play. The rules also limit how much young people can spend on purchases made through apps, like virtual weapons, clothes and pets. Those purchases are now capped at $28 to $57 a month, depending on age.
Chinese officials said the regulations were meant to combat addiction.
“These problems affect the physical and mental health of minors, as well as their normal learning and living,” the National Press and Publication Administration said in a statement that was published by Xinhua, the official news agency.

Analysts said the regulations had been largely anticipated by the industry and were unlikely to hurt revenue. Many of the biggest technology companies, including Tencent and Netease, have already imposed limits on younger users.
Young gamers are also likely to find ways around the regulations, such as using a parent’s phone and identification number.
“There are always going to be loopholes,” said Daniel Ahmad, a senior analyst at Niko Partners, a research and consulting firm.
But Mr. Ahmad added that China was now one of the most heavily regulated video game markets in the world, and that technology companies in the country and abroad would be forced to follow the government’s policy announcements more closely.
“I think compared to the West, it’s very extreme,” he said. “Publishers and developers need to be very aware of the content of the games they are developing for the market.”
In a sign of the growing global importance of the Chinese gaming market, Activision Blizzard, an American company, recently suspended an e-sports player who had voiced support for antigovernment demonstrations in Hong Kong during a live broadcast, a move that was seen as a concession to Beijing.
The rules were greeted skeptically by some parents and gamers.
Yang Bingben, 35, the owner of an industrial technology firm in eastern China, said he worried that many children would still find ways to play video games. For example, he noted that his 7-year-old son often played games that did not require an internet connection and were difficult to regulate.

“We have to develop new things to replace games,” he said. “Our minds should be focused on building more stadiums, football courts and basketball courts.”


 
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/edit...that wasn't nice - [me]
 
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>Want add-ons like virtual weapons and costumes? Keep it to $57 a month.
Ouch, i guess EA/AcitvisionBlizzard/Bethesda is sweating a little bit now.

Good, good, imagine if china did a good thing and banned microtransaction and lootboxes, then at least something good would come out of this bs :\
 

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I was wondering how they are going to track this across different platforms and devices, but then I remembered we are talking about China.
 
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I was wondering how they are going to track this across different platforms and devices, but then I remembered we are talking about China.
Most of their games require accounts linked to national ID number. But then it's not difficult to borrow one from a friend...
 

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Most of their games require accounts linked to national ID number. But then it's not difficult to borrow one from a friend...
Why would I ever want to level up my friend's account :slap:
 
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Why would I ever want to level up my friend's account :slap:
I meant borrowing your friend's ID number to create the account. Anyways account trading is still rampant despite being disallowed in by most game companies. They are all tied to original national IDs but those players just deal with them.
 
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Xi boldly goes where all of our parents failed.

Good luck bro
 
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I admire the spirit of this move but not the implementation. The way youngsters play today is not the same as we old fogeys used to.
Whatever happened to climbing trees, scrumping for apples and toasting bread over a camp fire?
 
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I heard something about microsoft releasing special versions of windows for china(china government edition)
Perhaps this is how they track windows platform
 
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1984 feels more real and yet some people pat China on the back for this?
 
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They're just beta testing the 1984 edition of Windows for the rest of the world.
Should be an update with these new features out soon.....

And I love how the pic in the OP looks like a bank of operators "Playing" missile command.
 
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Whatever happened to climbing trees, scrumping for apples and toasting bread over a camp fire?
Some of us stood at right at edge of that, I did all of that and played games, guess which of those were my favorite. I never understood why one is better than the other, they're both a waste of time with the purpose of entertainment in some way.
 
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Some of us stood at right at edge of that, I did all of that and played games, guess which of those were my favorite. I never understood why one is better than the other, they're both a waste of time with the purpose of entertainment in some way.
Did the same when I was a kid,got into gaming in my elementary school years.
Spent time outside almost daily doing all kind of stuff but after coming home I played games which obviously won as my main interest over the years.:D

That being said I am curious to see how this 'rule' will work out for them,or if at all.
 
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I admire the spirit of this move but not the implementation. The way youngsters play today is not the same as we old fogeys used to.
Whatever happened to climbing trees, scrumping for apples and toasting bread over a camp fire?
It was persimmons and pears for me. Those were the best but today's youth don't care for getting out in the neighborhood and riding bikes.


Chinese authorities are like a Big Brother that means well but they go too far on some things.
 
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Khek. At least western countries give you the illusion of freedom. China's not even giving that to their jingoist "China is 21st century supa pawa" population, lol.

Maybe finally gamers® will rise up™.

Most of their games require accounts linked to national ID number. But then it's not difficult to borrow one from a friend...
And why will this "friend" give his national ID if giving it means it's in their record that they didn't comply with the govt. and now suddenly they can't travel anywhere because of social credit system?
 
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Oh man the propaganda hate train is strong these days. MSM did a good job.
 
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at least with video games it just rots your brain and you wont get run over by a car (i remember i was hit a few times on my bmx/mountain bike by different cars, got into alot more trouble broke a lot less bones then when i played shadowrun on my sega. I would never have done 99% of the bad things in life if i just played video games :) On the other hand you can do alot more studying if you are not glued to the internet. I personally limit the speed and times of day the internet can be used. for a few hours during the day its dropped all together so other things can be remembered. (chores homework eating food) it would be nice if i could do that with windows and android as well.. turn on ultra power saving mode after 930pm and from 5pm-7pm be perfect!~ :) :) :)
 
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And why will this "friend" give his national ID if giving it means it's in their record that they didn't comply with the govt. and now suddenly they can't travel anywhere because of social credit system?
Lending national ID is not that serious lol, this is not North Korea.
 
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Whatever happened to parent responsibilities?
Oops, I forgot - the Chinese state took over that responsibility decades ago, which is why I'm not in the least surprised by this decree. Yet we smugly criticise Chinese quality and continue to buy all our necessities from China without so much as a flinch.
This is about as newsworthy to the West as swatting a fly and carries zero importance because we just love what they supply us with, i.e. virtually everything.
It's odd that we're prepared to cast aspersions on states that intervene in this way, yet are quite content in many cases, to shelve our own parental responsibilities.
 
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Whatever happened to climbing trees, scrumping for apples and toasting bread over a camp fire?
We invented more fun activities.

Seriously, this will both fail and succeed. Fail because young people know how to circumvent things up to and including the national firewall to load steam, and succeed because the party will put it's blinders on and claim it's working from the limited logs they get on their own net...
 
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in south korea any1 under 18 cant play at internet cafes after 10p.m
 
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