NetEase joins Tencent in move for ‘anti-addiction’ curfews on Chinese mobile gamers

    
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NetEase has once again become a household name for gamers thanks to its partnership with Blizzard on Diablo Immortal and many other titles, but this week there’s another reason to pay attention to the gaming giant: It’s created an anti-addiction mechanic for underage gamers that effectively places an 11-hour curfew on mobile games like Fantasy Westward Journey and Knives Out, which are among the biggest titles in the world for revenue according to SuperData.

Young gamers will be blocked entirely from playing video games between 9:30 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. and see strict hourly limits: for elementary school kids, nine hours per week, and for high schoolers, 16 hours per week, metered by day.

China Daily declares – sans sourcing – that the “move came as an increasing number of underage students are becoming addicted to mobile games in the smartphone era, prompting repeated calls for more efforts to curtail the addiction.” Readers will recall that The Guardian and The Atlantic have exposed that in pushing for “gaming disorder” classifications amidst heavy criticism and mounting evidence to the contrary from academics, the World Health Organization itself is operating under political pressure from Asian countries rather than in the best interests of health or science.

Readers will likewise recall that Tencent has been adding in child lock-outs and what it calls a “healthy gaming” system to multiple titles over the last couple of years.

For those of you still waiting and watching to see what China’s gaming crackdown will amount to – can we call it ChinaWatch? – well, the latest round of approved games post-freeze does indeed include Tencent and NetEase titles for the first time out of over 350 games approved total. Unfortunately, PUBG Mobile, which was one of the games Tencent expected to pull in all the monies last year, still isn’t among them.

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David Goodman

Mobile games are developed to funnel cash into the developers pockets first, and keep people playing longer to abuse the sunk cost fallacy. Entertainment to the player is not even in the top-5.

I think if someone (a person, company, government) really cared about addiction, they should possibly look at all of the mechanics deliberately put into games – particularly mobile games – that exploit the players.

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Mr.McSleaz

Well said.

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silverlock

Yeah they got to get those kids to stop playing games and get back to watching TV!

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Mr.McSleaz

Television is where the real indoctrination happens.

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Bruno Brito

This is curfew without the military force. China is really getting on with the times.

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Mr.McSleaz

Who’s to say the military won’t show up & take them to Re-Education Camp if they break the curfew.

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Bruno Brito

Who knows. While i don’t think China gives a damn about our ethical norms, i also think they prefer to do their stuff without any mess.

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Robert Mann

Just more of the Chinese attempt at fully controlling the lives of their people, without being so overbearing as to get them to revolt before the control is complete.

Seriously, things over there look like some sort of time regression.

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Armsbend

The argument of core communism is that it is not the Chinese controlling their lives but themselves controlling their lives for the betterment of society. There is not the Chinese and then it’s people. There is only the Chinese and the Chinese.

China, largely due to its mass of people and dependence on water has thousands of years of very strict people control. Unlike the west, it is a way of life.

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Robert Mann

Yeah, and as far as political B.S. to make you feel better about being controlled it is… in the middle, honestly. But it’s still just that same political B.S. Water control is another matter, there’s some very serious issues here in the U.S. with that where other measures make a lot of difference.

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Danny Smith

Anyone think its anything but an attempt to get their western games in with the new ministry of culture changes basically stopping stuff like overwatch and diablo getting over [z a w a l l]?

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Coming from these companies I’m reminded of the public service announcement Eminem made at the beginning of his first album, meaning neither of the parties truly give a damn about curbing anything and this attempt by Netease and Tencent either sounds like the world’s worst executed Troll or a last desperate attempt to try to ‘trick’ Chinese Officials into green lighting their games (probably just empty promises wrapped up in a fat envelope of bribe money).

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Schlag Sweetleaf

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads…

brutal dreams.gif
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McGuffn

Omg. Santa better check that list a third time.

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Bruno Brito

RIP AND TEAR

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Sunken Visions

Wouldn’t want the workers neglecting their obligations, in an attempt to escape the depression caused by their obligations.

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Bryan Correll

The company also updated a platform named NetEase Parenting Care, allowing parents to put their underage children under supervision in different ways including multi-account supervision and the ability to inquire about their child’s playing-time and in-app purchases.

So NetEase is letting you turn control over to an NPC.

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rafael12104

ChinaWatch? Heh. It sounds appropriate and works on many levels given the curfew.

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Bryan Correll

.

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rafael12104

OH, nice!!! Lol! Schlag worthy even. Heh.