China Declares Victory Over Gaming Addiction In Kids

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The Chinese government has declared a preliminary victory in the fight against gaming addiction among minors, which could pave the way for an easing of restrictions in the gaming world. According to Beijing, more than three-quarters of all gamers under the age of 18 have successfully limited their gaming time to just three hours a week.

the South China Morning Mail it cites what it calls “China’s semi-official gaming industry association,” the China Audio, Video and Digital Publishing Association, for this data. A report from the association suggests that more than 75% of gamers aged 18 and under now play video games for three hours a week or less. This has led the association, and by extension Beijing, to declare the issue of gambling addiction among minors “basically resolved.”

This follows the Chinese government speaking out in favor of video games last week through an article published by state-run news platform People’s Daily. In that article, People’s Daily suggested that gaming could be a force for good in terms of technological advancement and cultural diffusion, marking some of the first overtly positive words from the Chinese government regarding gaming in a long time.

Supposedly 75% of young Chinese gamers now play the country’s (and other) most popular games for just three hours a week.

The restrictions in question were put in place last year and limited players under the age of 18 to playing for just one hour on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and state holidays. Such restrictions only seemed to apply to online games, but since many of China’s most popular games (such as Honor of the Kings either Onmyoji) are online offerings, this affected large sections of the gaming industry.

As a result of this, and the Chinese government referring to video games as “spiritual opiate”, the Chinese gaming industry suffered. A multi-month freeze meant Beijing didn’t approve new games until April this year, though approvals have started again, including the first approval for gaming giant Tencent in a year and a half. earlier this month. Furthermore, a report by Asian gaming analysis firm Niko Partners showed that the number of young Chinese gamers has dropped by 40 million since the restrictions were introduced.

Whether Beijing’s recent comments are indicative of a thaw in its attitudes towards video games remains to be seen, but it’s hard not to see it that way. State news platforms and state-affiliated institutions seem to be doing everything they can to praise gaming (and their own efforts to regulate the industry, of course), so it’s very likely that we’ll see an easing of these restrictions, or at least a reformulation of them, soon.

Sony certainly seems to think this could be the case, as it is investing in developers in China in an effort to bolster its presence there. That, combined with the rise of major Chinese gaming projects like Black Myth: Wukong either Project: The Perceiver, suggests that the Chinese gaming industry is once again on the rise. Stay tuned for more.

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