China has begun implementing video games restrictions on its youth, specifically towards those younger than 18 years old. Starting this week, children under 18 will be limited to just three hours of gaming per week.
To be even more specific, that’s just one hour of gaming a day, starting from 8 PM to 9 PM, and only during Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The one-hour limit and time frame is also applicable to public holidays. China’s clampdown on the recreational activity also comes amidst the country’s ongoing crackdown of its own homegrown tech giants, such as Alibaba and Tencent.
It is obvious that one major reason behind the Chinese government’s rather extreme form of social intervention is gaming addiction; the governing Communist body is currently of the belief that video games are “spiritual opium” and that such activities are detrimental to the mental health of its minors.
Perhaps the biggest insult to injury is that, despite being placed under intense national scrutiny, gaming companies and providers must also deny Chinese minors access to their games, outside of the mandated hours. To that end, the companies will be required to put real-name verification safeguards in place.
Prior to this, minors in China were allowed to game for 1.5 hours per day, at any time of the day, and double that amount of time during public holidays. Needless to say, the new ruling has become one of the most intensely discussed subjects on the Chinese social network, Weibo, with some users saying that the new move is drastic.
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