A video game addiction is on the rise in China and the country is addressing this issue with the introduction of a new gaming curfew for younger players as well as a gameplay cap of 90 minutes.
On Tuesday, China’s General Administration of Press and Publication released six guidelines labeled “Notice on Preventing Minors from Indulging in Online Games”.
These “guidelines” say that users under the age of 18 are banned from playing games between 10pm and 8am each day and will also be restricted to playing a maximum of 90 minutes a day during the week.
Over weekends and public holidays a cap of 180 minutes will also apply to young gamers.
Along with these limitations, a limit will also be placed on the amount of money children will be allowed to spend on in-game purchase. Between the ages of eight and 16 they will be allowed to spend roughly 200 yuan or the equivalent of R422 per month. From 16 to 18 years they will be allowed to spend 400 yuan or R833 per month.
Online gamers will also be required to register their online accounts on their real names rather than an online alias, alongside valid identification. The country is also calling for better regulation of game rating systems and ensuring of age appropriate games and proposed guidelines for parents on how to manage their children’s gaming hobby.
Speaking to Xinhua, a spokesperson for the agency said the online gaming industry had grown exponentially in recent years and this had ushered a spike in video gaming addictions.
“These problems affect the physical and mental health and normal learning and life of minors,” they said.
The guidelines will apply to all online gaming companies and platforms in the country. A number of bizarre incidents have been caused by gaming addictions in the country over the years including deaths due to excessive gaming over a prolonged period of time.