China cracks down on video games with strict playtime limits for kids
China has announced a replacement set of rules to limit minors’ time playing video games hebdomadally. The new rules restrict children under 18 from playing video games for quite three hours every week. In addition, those rules define three separate hour-long windows during which minors can play, with the Chinese government saying that the restrictions are necessary to curb gaming addiction.
The new rules were announced by the Xinhua state press agency in China (as reported by Reuters). Under the new rules, kids under 18 can play video games from 8 PM to 9 PM on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays. Beyond those hours, video games are allowed, meaning no gaming during the week.
Previously, there have been still restrictions on playtime in situ, but they were significantly more lenient. For example, Reuters reports that previous restrictions limited playtime to 1.5 hours every day and three hours on holidays. Those rules were first implemented in 2019, and now two years later, we’re seeing restrictions that are far more severe being implemented.
According to Reuters, some reactions to those rules on Weibo expressed shock at how restrictive they’re and doubt that the principles would be enforceable on an outsized scale. Tencent, the most important computer game publisher within the world, is predicated in China and focuses on mobile games and online multiplayer games — the sort of games that appear directly targeted by these new rules.
The restrictions handed down by the Chinese government don’t seem to differentiate between platforms, and gaming companies are liable for implementing things like deadlines and anti-addiction systems. But, of course, we’ll see what quite measures those game developers and publishers ultimately take, so stay tuned for more.