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(Photo : Pexels/Pixabay) Video game China

China is reportedly reviewing several new games to make sure that they meet the country's strict criteria for content and protection of underage players.

China's Strict Game Rules

According to Bloomberg, China's media watchdog is re-evaluating game titles that were submitted for approval by Tencent and Netease in order to make sure that they comply with the criteria introduced in August.

Reuters reported that both Tencent and Netease did not respond to the publication's request for comment.

In August, China forbade players under the age of 18 to play video games for more than three hours a week.

The strict rule was created to stop the growing addiction to video games, which the Chinese watchdog called spiritual opium.

Also Read: China Requires Players to Use Their Real Name in Online Games as Real-Name Verification System to Be Launched by September

The National Press and Publications Administration or NPPA required game developers to submit their titles for re-evaluation after the new rule was placed in effect.

Now, the media regulators are reviewing a popular zombie-themed video game. It is considered by the NPPA as too scary and inappropriate for children.

The regulators also tagged other themes such as "boys' love" as inappropriate, which received public backlash.

China has cracked down on a lot of industries from technology to education and from games to properties, as the country tightens its control.

China has also asked game developers not to focus on making profits and removing violent content.

Only 3 Hours of Game Time

Underaged players in China are only allowed to play video games between 8 PM to 9 PM. This only applies during Fridays, weekends, and holidays. This is the country's way to curb gaming addiction among the youth. 

China is known to make very dramatic moves that are targeted towards children's gaming time. The rules have included a cyber curfew back in 2019 that restricts playing games at night.

The cyber curfew forced players to type in their real names and identification numbers when they were playing. Some parents even went as far as sending their children to military-style anti-gaming camps.

China is associating the time spent playing games with addiction, which means that the more time that children play games, the more they get addicted.

However, the World Health Organization or WHO defines the gaming addiction differently. Addiction is not about time, it is about the intensity and attitude that a player brings to the gaming.

Addiction means that being obsessed with gaming that the other things in their lives are already negatively affected.

Recognizing Gaming Addiction

Gaming addiction is similar to gambling addiction because it goes beyond a fun past time. Some even stop showering and sleeping, they begin losing friends and even find themselves thinking about playing games everyday. Students suffer from low grades in school.

According to WHO, in order to be diagnosed with gaming addiction, one must demonstrate all three symptoms for a year. First, the person loses control over how much time they spend on gaming.

Second, they prioritize gaming so much that it takes precedence over their other interests and activities. Lastly, they continue to play games despite the negative effects on their daily life.

There is a difference between being a regular gamer and being addicted to it. As long as the three symptoms are not seen, spending some time playing games is not harmful.

Only a small percentage of people are affected by gaming addiction. According to The American Psychiatric Association, around .03% to 1% of the world's population are diagnosed with this condition.

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Written by Sophie Webster

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