China to enforce video game time restrictions for under 18s
China is set to restrict video game use among under-18s in a drastic bid to clamp down on addiction.
A state-enforced curfew will severely limit how much time minors can spend on their Xbox, PlayStation, Switch or PC.
Beijing’s lawmakers are currently figuring out how to better implement a blanket restriction – limiting players to just 90 minutes use per day, and with a complete ban between the hours of 10pm and 8am. Game time will be raised to three hours on weekends and holidays.
The controversial move echoes the Chinese government’s narrative on how gaming can harm education and development. Previously, the economic giant was the largest gaming market in the world, but a raft of industry regulation has seen the US overtake it, in terms of revenue generation.
The official government guidelines also encompass a spending allowance for minors. Those younger than 16 will only be permitted to spend up to 200 yuan (£22) per month on games while those aged between 16 and 18 can spend up to 400 yuan on their accounts.
China-based Tencent – which is also the biggest gaming company in the world – has responded to the clampdown by limiting user time to one hour per day for those younger than 12 and to two hours per day for those aged between 12 and 18.
It also began demanding they prove their age and identity against available state records, according to the BBC.
While Tencent voluntarily began restricting how much time its gamers spend on its titles, the government’s new guidelines will apply throughout the country.
The administration will work in tandem with law enforcement to devise a unified identification system that platforms can utilise to ensure users are acting in accordance with the newly-established rules.
Interested in reading more gaming addiction-related stories? Discover more about history being made in the UK as the National Health Service began treating patients who suffer from playing too many games.