China toughens its fight against “video game addiction”: minors will only be able to play on weekends for one hour a day
Children under 18 in China may only play video games for one hour a day and only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. It is the new measure of the Chinese government to deal with “video game addiction”, recognized in 2018 by the World Health Organization as a disease.
This is a tightening of the measures already adopted in 2019, where China restricted the playing time in minors to an hour and a half a day and until ten at night.
Now, according to the national news network Xinhua, the playing time for minors will be limited to weekends and holidays, between eight and nine in the evening.
Limiting playtime to three hours a week
As Xinhua describes, the new Chinese legislation greatly reduces playing time, from just over ten hours before to three hours a week, in the absence of holidays.
The regulations will establish that “online gaming services must not be provided to minors in any way in any other time interval” and must add strict sign-in and real-name login mechanisms to ensure that these measures are met.
It will be the video game companies who must add this supervision to enforce the law. For this, the regulations establish that the different departments must “strengthen the supervision and inspection of the implementation at all levels.”
We have an example in Tencent, who last July showed a new facial recognition system to prevent minors from being hooked at night, at times outside the established hours. A “night watchman” that scans the player’s face via smartphone and compares it with a list of players. A system included in more than 60 games of the brand and mandatory use.