China to Monitor Young Children Gaming at Night

The Chinese government in 2019 introduced a curfew in what young gamers could spend on in-game transactions. This curfew had rules that meant gamers under the age of 18 were banned from playing video games between 22:00 and 08:00 every day.

The same rule also means that Under 18s are only allowed to play for 90 minutes during the week and three hours on weekends and holidays. The Chinese Communist Party have introduced this ban by making gamers register their official IDs when gaming. It has however been revealed that children have just been using their parents IDs instead of their own IDs. They have done this so they can stay up later, playing video games.

What Are the Limits?

In addition to the rules on how long Under 18s can play games for, China have also introduced spending limits for minors on video games. Gamers aged 8-16 can only spend up to 200 Yuan a month. This is equivalent to around £22. Gamers aged 16-18 are only permitted to spend up to 400 Yuan a month on their gaming account.

To stop the rules from being circumvented, Chinese gaming company Tencent is introducing face recognition to prove that they are an adult when playing video games. They are implementing facial recognition because of how easy it is to bypass registering official IDs so that minors can stay up later playing video games. This now makes the new rules very hard to bypass, because when you are to look at your phone, you will have to look directly into the camera. The Chinese Communist Party have introduced these rules and regulations because they claim that video games are having a negative impact on children.

In China, games on consoles are played a lot less than they are on mobile phones compared to the West. This makes it easier for them to implement facial recognition as phones have a built in camera, whereas consoles do not.

Why are China Introducing Such Anti-Gaming Laws?

This supposed negative impact on children can be a range of things, such as bad eye-sight as they are staring at screens for too long, addiction to video games which will affect the children’s schoolwork.  Playing video games for too long can generally have a negative impact on a child’s growth. The WHO listed a gaming addiction as a mental health condition for the first time in 2018. This believe this because gamers can be addicted to the games and sit on them all day. China are hoping that this has a positive effect on their public. This is because they want them to have better general health. They also believe that the younger population is spending too much time playing video games and by implementing these rules, they believe that children will spend less time on video games.