There have been discussions for years and decades as to whether and to what extent online games are addictive. It depends in part on how you define addiction, but many of us are probably familiar with the problem of having overdone it. In China, the state now sets limits.
Another round, another game, another run: These are certainly sentences or impulses that many of us know. Because online games in particular have a pull due to the group dynamics that sometimes make you forget the time. The experts have been arguing for a long time whether this can or must be defined as an addiction.
In China, the state gives the answer or sets the consequences: As the business portal Bloomberg reports, minors will in the future have to live with significant restrictions when it comes to online gaming. Chinese game providers such as Tencent and NetEase will (have to) limit online use by young people to three hours a week.
One hour every 3 days
The limit is strict: because children and young people are allowed to play for one hour on Saturdays and Sundays between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., plus public holidays. However, minors in China have not been able to play indefinitely, so far the limit was 90 minutes, but this was possible on most days.
As the news agency Reuters reports, the new guidelines were adopted today and apply to all conceivable platforms, i.e. PC and mobile devices (consoles hardly play a role in China). Gaming providers need to have a real name verification system in place to ensure that the new rules are actually being enforced.
The whole thing is not just a measure to protect children and young people, the Beijing government is specifically targeting the country’s tech giants these days. This is of course about influence, because Beijing is afraid of losing power to the IT corporations – so it is also a test of strength, the country’s technology giants have long been accused of too “wild growth”.
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