PC Games Features
China declares war on gaming addiction
By Casey Lynch Apr 12, 2007, 10:46 GMT
A new law restricts kids to no more than 3 hours of online gaming a day.
Big brother is watching you. Or he’s watching Chinese gamers under the age of 18.
Starting this Sunday, April 15, the Chinese government will institute a new "anti-addiction" regulation that requires "anti-addiction software" to be installed on the country's massively multiplayer online games to limit online play by under-18s.
Games that have not embedded the system by the cutoff date of July 16 will be shut down.
China Daily reported today that China is concerned about kids playing hooky and turning to crime as a result of addiction to online gaming. According to the newspaper, there are a quite a lot of under 18 year-olds playing online games – roughly 3 million, which makes of 10 percent of the staggering 31.12 million online gamers in China of all ages.
The new system requires that gamers register their real names and identity card numbers to prove their age when signing up for an MMO (Massively-multiplayer online) game, and get this - young users will be allowed to play just three hours per day, which China considers a "healthy" limit. The time limit is tied directly to points you can earn while playing games, so if you land in the 3 hour mark, you get full points while playing. Between three and five hours, gamers will be docked half their points, and after five hours, warnings will pop-up in 15 minutes intervals letting gamers know that they are risking their health and that their points will be reset to zero if they press on.
Talking to China Daily, China spokesperson for the popular MMOG World of Warcraft Zhao Yurun said that the company was not concerned about the new legislation because the majority of its players were adults.