Children in China will face strict government limitations on their video game sessions, thanks to a new directive aimed to curb addictions.
You might have thought your parents were strict when it came to letting you play video games, but the chances are that they’ve got nothing on the Chinese Government: children in China will only be allowed to play video games online for three hours a week, according to new official guidelines.
Bloomberg reports that major gaming platforms in the country, including Tencent, will only be permitted to allow youngsters to play online between 8pm and 9pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (plus major public holidays).
The Chinese Government has apparently already labelled video games as “spiritual opium” (a phrase so devilishly cool that it will surely only increase their appeal), and this crackdown is aimed at stopping children’s addiction to the format, and instead encouraging them towards more productive endeavours.
The regulations mean that all games will be linked to a state-run anti-addiction system, and users will not be able to play games without real-name registration first. The state regulators will keep a close eye on users’ playing time and in-app purchases, and will work closely with schools to prevent gaming addictions.
While digital dependency is surely an ever-increasing problem among younger people, these extremely strict and authoritarian solutions are likely to raise eyebrows in the West (as long as you’re actually paying attention, and not too busy playing video games to notice).