The National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) which operates as China’s online watchdog has officially implemented a new rule for one of the most popular mediums in the world; video games. The group has announced that anyone under the age of 18 will no longer be allowed to play any video games from Monday-Thursday. The only allotted time frame that the affected age group is allowed to play is under a 1 hour limit from Friday-Sunday, including public holiday’s. This essentially means that minors in China can only play video games for up to 3 hours in a single weekend, marking a severe change and massive increase of restrictions.
BREAKING: China has forbidden under-18s from playing video games for more than three hours a week
The government described it as a ‘spiritual opium’ https://t.co/OTFoOxduXp
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) August 30, 2021
This is emphasized by the fact the previous ruling was that anyone under 18 was only given 90 minutes to play video games during the week. The three hour rule for the weekend remained the same. According to authorities, these restrictions were put in place to prevent children from becoming addicted to video games. The NPPA also noted that this new implementation will be issued at the beginning of the new school year, with the education being a major priority.
It’s important to note that major video game conglomerates such as Tencent and NetEase operate out of China and deal with an international audience. Both companies stocks plummeted soon after these announcements, although they’ve recovered some since. According to the South China Morning Post, a government official stated that these new changes are a result of the parents growing concern over their children’s studies. The Chinese government has also gone as far as to call video games “spiritual opium.”
Several online games have a heavy presence in China, such as the extremely popular League of Legends, Honor of Kings, and Genshin Impact. China also has fast growing esports scene, which has grown exponentially since the government acknowledged it in 2019. As of this writing, nothing else besides the aforementioned changes will be happening, but as time goes on, they may implement more restrictions with even more limitations.