Even setting aside the Blitzchung fiasco that sent China’s video game industry into the spotlight at the tail end of 2019, the western games press has been covering the China situation for rather a long time, from the big “freeze” on games approvals in the region a few years go to the ongoing fixation on “healthy gaming” for children that’s turned into draconian curfews and (effective) pressure of WHO into contriving what many academics have criticized as the scientifically sketchy “gaming disorder” classification.
China’s ruling party has renewed its focus on video games at the top of 2019, as it’s now issued a new press release asserting that “mental disorders” among minors is on the rise and lists several steps organizations and branches are required to take to address them. Under the “Healthy China 2030” initiative, everything from online games to streams seems to be up for regulation. As Gamasutra points out, it’s not entirely clear from the document how local governments and organizations are to carry out these initiatives, but given the curfews, content bans, and invasive facial recognition lockouts of the last few years, it’s not too hard to guess.
“Management departments such as press and publication, online information, radio and television shall strengthen the supervision of online content, timely discover and clean up illegal and harmful publications and information related to children and adolescents on the Internet, and focus on investigating online games, live broadcasts, short messages Video, educational apps, etc., crack down on online gambling, bloody violence, vulgar pornography and other websites and apps, and create a good online environment for children and young people.”