The Chinese authorities announced on Monday that they will limit minors’ access to online video games to about 3 hours a week to prevent them from “surrendering” to them. In a statement, the National Press and Publications Administration – regulatory body for print and digital publications – specifies that 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.
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This limitation to three hours a week may increase during national holidays, days when minors can play online for an additional hour at the same time. The document prohibits online video game companies from providing such services “in any way during other hours,” and directly establishes 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 “drug.” electronics”. Criticism from the government or state media dates back to the beginning of the century, when the authorities banned the import of video game consoles, a veto that was maintained until 2014, due to their “negative influence” on young people.