Sometimes it’s easy to forget that gamers over in China have it very different than we do in the west. If you need a reminder to this effect, then how about new guidelines that the Chinese government has proposed to ban kids from gaming at night.
NPR is reporting that the directives prohibit all gaming for minors (that’s anyone under 18 years of age) between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. Oh, and there’s more: Kids are also restricted to just 90 minutes of gaming per weekday except for holidays and have a hard cap on the amount of money they can spend on microtransactions. This is being done because, supposedly, excess gaming affects kids’ learning and health, which was the same justification given by multiple Chinese gaming companies that instituted their own game-specific, age-specific curfews earlier this year.
The directives went further than this, prohibiting any gamer — youth or adult — from partaking in titles that include “sexual explicitness, goriness, violence, and gambling.” These regulations, as we’ve previously discussed, will be enforced thanks to mandatory registration in which all gamers have to log their real names and phone numbers before accessing online titles.
“We are also going to gradually perfect and enrich the functions of the identification system, to achieve gaming time data sharing across platforms, so we could know and therefore restrict the total time every minor spends on gaming across platforms,” the Chinese government stated.
Ignoring widespread criticism of the science and impact, the World Health Organization officially added “gaming disorder” aka gaming addiction to its official disease classifications earlier this year. At the time, journalists exposed that WHO admitted it was acting under “enormous pressure” from Asian countries to legitimize the disorder, suggesting the adoption had more to do with politics than science or health.