China has announced restrictions for video gaming for anyone under the age of 18. There are now limits on how long someone when can play and when they can play. Minors can now only play 90 minutes a day except on national holidays when they can play up to three hours. Minors can also no longer play between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.
In an interview with Xinhua News Agency, a relevant person in charge of the State Press and Publication Administration stated that this “Notice” “reflects the principle of giving priority to social benefits and priority for the protection of minors, adhering to the problem-oriented, focusing on the key and difficult problems of the current anti-addiction… strengthening and improving the management of online games, effectively protecting the physical and mental health of minors, and creating a literate and fluent network space.”
These new regulations included many things like putting into a place a real-name registration system for online game accounts so they will actually be able to monitor the video game activity of their citizens.
China will also, “regulate the provision of paid services to minors, stipulating that online game companies may not provide game payment services for users under the age of 8; game payment services provided by the same online game company, minors under the age of 8 and under 16 years of age users, the single recharge amount should not exceed 50 yuan(7.167 US dollars), the monthly recharge amount must not exceed 200 yuan; for 16-year-old or younger users, the single recharge amount should not exceed 100 yuan, and the monthly recharge amount must not exceed 400.”
This is to combat the problem of micro-transactions that have popped up in recent years in video games, companies like Blizzard made over $4 billion in microtransactions in 2017.
Even though the majority of these restrictions target minors, there is a section that speaks about adults. The official stated, “harmful content such as pornography, bloodyness, violence, and gambling must not be allowed in games for adults.”
The Collegiate interviewed some Grand Rapids Community College students and to get their reaction to this news.
Most of them agree it comes from a place of good intention, but the execution itself is off.
“It sounds very invasive, I’m not overly familiar with all the nuances of China’s government, but that seems a step too far…,” said 18-year-old student Olivia Liceaga stated. “I can see how that would work to an extent, but it feels more like a violation of their own privacy, even if it will help more in the long run what are you sacrificing to get to that.”
Jean Adams, 19, agreed stating,
“I think it’s a good idea to combat video game addiction, but I wonder about the methods,” Adams said. “I think that only no videos games between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., I think that is a good idea. I definitely wonder about the amount of time, because for me it feels like everyone’s personal time is up to them whether it’s a good decision or not.”
Shaphan Russell, 21, also shared reservations about these new restrictions.
“It makes sense from a certain perspective, trying to limit everything, but it’s also like the government is getting involved… It’s got it’s ups and downs,” Shaphan said. “It does seem very well intentioned.”