Reports: China considering stern gaming restrictions for minors

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The Chinese government is reportedly considering further restrictions on the three-hour limit for youth under the age of 18 playing video games.

Three months after declaring an initial success in lowering gaming addiction among youngsters, China’s semi-official gaming industry group stated that protecting children from the harmful effects of video gaming is a “long-term” effort that requires additional work.

Secretary general of the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association, Ao Ran, during a two-day conference in the southern city of Guangzhou, said, “Adolescents have a strong awareness of the negative impact of games, and also have a certain sense of self-control while playing games,” according to South China Morning Post.

Ran further emphasized that based on current results, the industry must “further improve the level of protection and bolster these measures.” He further said, “Minor protection is long-term and fundamental work. Our peers must resolutely implement the requirements of the regulators and explore technical means, such as facial recognition.”

The online gaming regulator in China, the National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA), implemented a series of restrictions back in 2021 on gamers under the age of 18, including a limit on game time for teenagers from 8 pm to 9 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays.

The move to limit the gaming hours to three per week was made to counter online gaming addiction among youth, according to NPPA.

The Indian government have also appointed the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) as the nodal ministry for online gaming. MeitY recently concluded the discussion on draft online gaming rules. One of the main questions asked during the questions was about implementing a similar restriction for gamers in India.

MeitY revealed that, currently, there are no plans for implementing such restrictions. The gamers and stakeholders in the online gaming sector have also asked for a clear-cut definition between gaming and gambling when the rules for online gaming are finalized.