Shanghai, China, Aug 30 (EFE).- China announced Monday it would limit minors’ access to online gaming to about three hours a week to prevent them from “surrendering” to videogames.
In a statement, the National Press and Publications Administration – regulatory body for print and digital publications – said online video game providers may only allow access to minors between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
This limitation could increase during national holidays, days in which minors can play an additional hour online during the same time slots.
The law prohibits online game companies from providing such services “in any form during other hours,” and directly states that any access must be prevented from users who have not registered by verifying their real identity.
The objective is to “effectively protect the mental and physical health” and the “healthy growth” of minors, something for which the institution also demands the “active” participation of families, schools and other social actors.
The measure represents another step in the campaign to restrict the use of online video games for minors in China, whose government already limited it in 2019 to 90 minutes a day between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. night, raising it to three hours on vacation days.
Beijing has put online gaming back in its sights in recent weeks, as companies in the sector crashed on the stock market earlier this month after official media described them as “spiritual opium” and “electronic drugs.”
Criticism from the government or state media dates back to the beginning of the century, when authorities banned the importation of game consoles, a veto maintained until 2014, due to their alleged negative influence on young people. EFE