China's rules restrict kids to 90 min. of gaming a day

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption How does gaming affect your brain

A person holding a PlayStation 4 controller.

Yang Bingben, 35, the owner of an industrial technology firm in eastern China, said he anxious that many children would still find ways to play video games. No more than 90 minutes of gaming on weekdays.

Six measures were outlined in the guidelines, aimed at preventing minors "from indulging in online games". They'll also have to squeeze that playtime in under a curfew, as minors won't be allowed to play between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. every day.

Online microtransactions, which many view as lucrative and gouging, are also targeted. Those purchases are now capped at $28 to $57 a month, depending on age.

But the new guidelines will apply universally to all online gaming platforms operating in China and will address enforcement concerns directly.

However, the New York Times article that translates these restrictions points out that minors can circumvent the system by using their parents' identification numbers, as well as playing games that do not require an Internet connection.


A spokesman told Xinhua News Agency, a state-operate information publication in China, that the guidelines were meant to shield "the bodily and psychological health of minors".

Regulators have had softer time limits in place since 2007, restricting kids to three hours of daily play, though that restriction didn't necessarily keep you from playing the game entirely - some game operators were able to simply reduce rewards for playing after the time limits were exceeded.

Video games have become a popular target. In 2018, Jinping called for officials to take action on the large amount of nearsighted children. In addition, gaming should also fall between 8 am and 10 pm.

This is part of China's latest initiative to curb video game addiction, which officials say is harmful to children's health. Rather, a video game addict is described as someone with an inability to stop playing even though it interferes with other important areas of life.

China's formal federal government pointers will be utilized to all gaming platforms throughout the country, which includes the well-liked Tencent, which is the world's major gaming corporation and centered out of China. Paolo Zialcita is an intern on NPR's Newsdesk.

China's market power was perhaps underscored when Blizzard Entertainment suspended an esports player in October after he voiced support for the Hong Kong liberation protests, prompting many to accuse the American company of pandering to Chinese interests.

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