On weekends and holidays, the Chinese government has announced new gaming regulations that would limit individuals under the age of 18 to only one hour of gaming each day. Due to regulations surrounding the activity, China has traditionally been a tough market for gaming firms to get into. The country has also not been shy about enacting gaming-related legislation.
Video games have long been a source of contention for the Chinese Communist Party. Many of the world’s largest gaming firms, such as Nintendo and Sony, are having difficulty getting new systems to market.
Even when the systems are introduced, as was the case with the PlayStation 5 earlier this year, the game libraries are shortened. Because of Chinese censorship restrictions and an abundance of knockoffs, this is the case. In addition, because of the customizing choices, popular games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons are completely forbidden.
According to The Guardian, Chinese officials have limited the amount of time that kids may spend playing video games. On Monday, August 30th, the National Press and Publication Administration published the new guidelines.
Citizens under the age of 18 are only allowed three hours of free time each week – one hour on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Furthermore, playing time would be limited to 8 to 9 p.m. local time. It is illegal for businesses to allow children to play at any other time. To ensure this, name verification methods will be used beginning in 2020. To guarantee compliance, video game businesses will be inspected more closely.
This isn’t the first time the Chinese government has intervened in the gaming business to punish children. Previously, people under the age of 18 could only play for 1.5 hours on most evenings. On Saturdays and holidays, though, they may have a full three-hour session.
The restrictions are in place to tackle a rising worry about gaming addiction. It is also part of a broader attack on companies like Tencent. According to reports, Tencent was interested in a prospective Google acquisition of Epic Games. The Alibaba Group is one of the other companies that has been singled out.
The Chinese government’s tumultuous relationship with video games is also likely a role. The restrictions and rules that foreign firms must adhere to invest in China are a less appealing proposition. China isn’t the only country attempting to limit kids’ access to video games.
Minecraft, for example, is prohibited in South Korea for those under the age of 19. Despite other areas’ restrictions of video games, the manner of enforcement will simply add to concerns about stolen data and corporations “knowing too much,” since there will have to be means of tracking players that are then sent to the Chinese government.