China’s video game industry association says it has found a solution to the problem of video game addiction among teenagers. A year ago, the government set a time limit for teenagers to play video games
China is the world’s largest video gaming market, but state media refers to the industry as a “spiritual opium”. The video game industry is subject to frequent prosecutions by technology regulatory bodies and record fines. They are also subject to lengthy investigations and suspension of the company’s initial public offering (IPO).
The Beijing government has set video game playing hours to curb video game addiction among teenagers. In September last year, it issued an order that allows teenagers under the age of 18 to play online video games only between 8pm and 9pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during school hours.
Video game addiction
China’s video gaming industry’s top government committee and data provider CNG released a report on Monday. The report states that video game addiction has largely been curbed due to time limits for game play. And more than 75 percent of teens now play video games less than three hours a week.
“More than 90 percent of teens who use games are covered by gaming companies’ anti-video game ban systems,” the report said.
About 98 percent of people between the ages of 9 and 19 in China own some kind of mobile phone, and there are about 186 million Internet users aged 18 and under, the report said.
Video game players in China are required to use their ID card and must register themselves and verify that they are not lying about their age before playing online games.
Signs of relaxation of regulations
Gaming providers also provide video gaming services to teenagers within government-mandated hours. However, in recent days there have been signs that Beijing is softening its stance on the video gaming sector.
Authorities have now slowly started the process of approving the new name after freezing registration for nine months until April.
Last week, leading technology company Tencent received its first video game license in 18 months. Tenset, considered the world’s top video game developer, was on the verge of losing its position due to the bans.
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