China to impose curfew on young gamers in bid to cut gaming addiction rates

China is one of the world's top markets for video games but the Government is concerned about addiction among minors.

China says it will ban children from playing online video games at night and introduce laws to cut down screen time amid growing concerns about gaming addiction.

Key points:

  • The Chinese Government has raised concerns over the increasing amount of addiction to video games among children
  • The measures will limit playing time and how much money can be put into gaming accounts
  • The Government will implement a registration system that uses gamers' real names to verify their ages

Under the new measures, children under the age of 18 will be banned from playing online games between 10:00pm and 8:00am and restricted to 90 minutes of playing time on weekdays.

This will be extended to three hours on weekends and public holidays.

Minors will also be limited in how much they can spend on online gaming.

Gamers aged between eight and 16 will be allowed to add a maximum of 200 yuan ($41.50) per month to their gaming accounts, while those aged between 16 and 18 will be restricted to 400 yuan.

The Government will also implement a real-name registration system, forcing companies to verify the ages of gamers against a national database, in a bid to stop children from using their parents' details to register a game account.

The World Health Organisation has identified video game addiction as a disorder.

Gaming companies that do not comply with the legislation face having their licences revoked.

A Government spokesman told Xinhua the measures were implemented due to concerns about video game addiction in minors and the impacts it had on their physical and mental health and learning.

China is one of the world's biggest mobile gaming markets, according to the state-owned Xinhua news agency.

The World Health Organisation officially classified video game addiction as a disorder in April.

Australian behavioural experts have reported an explosion in the number of young children with video game addictions.

Australian families have also looked at ways to tackle addiction to video games, while Melbourne-based Game Aware, a course teaching "intelligent gaming", tries to help gamers make sure it remains a hobby.

Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology have shown that video games do have many positive effects, making gamers feel competent and helping build social connections.



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(Source:; November 7, 2019;
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