May 19, 2022

China Limits Children’s Playtime to One Hour a Day at Weekends

Tencent is also involved

FILE PHOTO: People play online games at an internet cafe in Fuyang, Anhui province, China August 20, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

China has taken a tough stance against children [in this instance, “children” refers to anyone under the age of 18] playing video games.

The National Press and Publication Administration decreed that children could only video games between 8 pm and 9 pm [via BBC].

Furthermore, this would only be possible on Fridays, weekends, and during holidays.

In addition to that, it has also instructed gaming companies to prevent children from playing outside of these imposed times.

This is the latest chapter in the China/video game conversation.

Last month, a Chinese state media ended up labelling online games as “spiritual opium”.

China has had a long and, notoriously, negative relationship with children playing video games.

A previous limitation put a 90-minute allowance to children in the country, which rose to three hours on holidays.

In July, Tencent announced it would roll out facial recognition software in a bid to stop children playing between the hours of 10 pm and 8 am, the so-called “midnight-patrol”.

Chinese police forces are also backing Tencent’s facial recognition software implementation.

National databases hold player IDs in China.

Some young Chinese players were circumventing these databases by using their adult’s IDs instead.

Tencent stated;

“Anyone who refuses or fails the face verification will be treated as a minor, and, as outlined in the anti-addiction supervision of Tencent’s game health system, [will be] kicked offline”.

Tencent also launched its “digital lock” system.

This limited anyone under the age of 15 to two hours of gameplay a day.

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