CHINA has announced new limits to online gaming by teens as part of new measures to crack down on video game addiction.
Under new rules, gamers under 18 will be allowed to play for up to 90 minutes on weekdays, three hours at weekends, and never between 10pm and 8am.
China has announced both a time and spending limits for video gamers under the age of 18Credit: Getty - Contributor
A government spokesperson said the move would 'clear internet space' and 'protect the physical and mental health of minorsCredit: Alamy
A limit on spending will also be introduced, with gamers aged eight to 16 years allowed to spend 200 yuan (£22.40) each month, and those between 16 and 18 allowed 400 yuan (£44.80).
Speaking to Xinhua News Agency, the official state-run news agency in China, a government spokesperson said the limits were intended to a "clear internet space" and "protect the physical and mental health of minors."
"The specific criteria are mainly from the perspective of rational allocation of minors' daily work and rest time, in addition to normal sleep, study, meal and cultural and sports activities," the spokesperson said.
He added that the move would highlight the "responsibility of the corporations" and that the government had a "duty to supervise the problem".
He also said that "harmful content such as pornography, bloodiness, violence, and gambling must not be allowed in games for adults".
GAMING ADDICTION NOW A 'DISEASE'
The rules will apply to all online gaming platforms and games, including hugely popular games like Fortnite.
Among the companies hit will be Tencent, the world's largest gaming company and one of its most valuable tech companies.
China has in recent years become the largest gaming market in the world, though was overtaken by the US in 2018 due to increased regulations on the industry.
It is worth a total of £29.6 billion, accounting for a quarter of global revenues, and is expected to regain the top spot next year.
What is video game addiction?
Here's everything you need to know...
- Around 2.2billion people worldwide play video games
- Scientists believe 1 in 25 are addicted
- That means there are nearly 90million video game addicts worldwide
- Playing games releases dopamine in your brain, which makes you want to come back for more
- In this sense, playing games gives us a similar thrill to gambling
- Symptoms include a loss of interest in your social life, feelings of restlessness or irritability when unable to play, and lying to friends and family about time spent playing
- Men aged 18-24 are most at risk
The administration is currently helping police to establish a real-name registration system that would allow them to check the identity of gamers against a national data based, CNN reported.
The new regulations come on top of others introduced last August, which saw limits to the number of new online games allowed to be released.
The government said those restrictions were intended to “reduce nearsightedness in children and adolescents”.
Earlier this year, Chinese players of Fortnite also experienced in-game restrictions once they had been playing for three hours, DotEsports reports.
In June 2018, the World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases opted to recognise gaming addiction as an official disease.
The condition is diagnosed when a some plays video games compulsively while shunning other interests, including school and home life.
The hugely popular game Fortnite is among those that will be affectedCredit: Getty - Contributor
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