China’s under-18s may only play video games 3 hours a week

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Earlier this month reports emerged of a Chinese state media outlet stating that video games are essentially ‘electronic drugs’, also describing the act of playing them as something akin to ‘spiritual opium’. Now, China has forbidden all under-18s from playing video games for more than three hours a week, according to a report by Reuters. 

F in chat for China’s youth

The archaic social intervention is supposed to help children in the country get rid of this strange new form of digital opium. “The new rules, published on Monday, are part of a major shift by Beijing to strengthen control over its society and key sectors of its economy, including tech, education and property, after years of runaway growth,” Reuters reports.

Children are limited to playing videogames only 3 hours a week — Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 20:00 to 21:00. They can also play for an hour during this time on public holidays. We reckon the servers will be absolutely destroyed for those three hours every weekend. 

Even worse, the restrictions encompass any gaming, whether it’s on PC, consoles or even mobile phones. 

“Teenagers are the future of our motherland,” says an unnamed NPPA spokesperson according to Reuters. “Protecting the physical and mental health of minors is related to the people’s vital interests, and relates to the cultivation of the younger generation in the era of national rejuvenation.”

Now the onus is on gaming developers and publishers to make sure any user under the age of 18 cannot access its games outside of the stipulated time frame, “… and must ensure they have put real-name verification systems in place.”

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Digital Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.

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