IN CHINA, PLAYERS CAN ONLY PLAY ONLINE FOR THREE HOURS PER WEEK
The Chinese authorities take the problem of video game addiction very seriously . They thus limit to three hours per week access to online games for those under 18 years of age.
Video games generally have a bad image in society. However, their practice has certain advantages. In April 2020, neurobiologists at the University of California at Irvine, United States, in a study highlighted the benefits of video games. Video game entertainment would develop brain plasticity. It would also improve memory and the ability of players to concentrate. Gamers would also be more sensitive to visual contrast. However, cognitive benefits are only possible with reasonable practice. Indeed, abusing video games involves a risk for young people, among other things in their development. Excessive practice leads to addiction and can cause cognitive impairment.
With its new measure, the People's Republic of China intends to protect young people from these harmful effects. The decision could have serious consequences for the video game industry.
A crackdown on spiritual opium
China was the first country hit by the Covid-19 pandemic last year. As the number of coronavirus cases increased worryingly, Chinese authorities opted for drastic restriction measures. They have established total containment which will subsequently inspire the other affected countries. The restriction measures have forced young people to stay at home. Video games then became their main means of entertainment.
The Chinese government is concerned about the increase in addiction among those under 18. He even compares video games to opium. Remember that China has a long history with this drug. The country thus equates the dependence on video game entertainment with spiritual opium. The authorities recall that it is their duty to protect the mental health of the youngest.
A new measure has just been adopted: online or network games are now banned during the week. Players under the age of 18 can only access it every Friday from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The authorities also allow one hour of play on Saturdays and Sundays, for a total of three hours per week!
The Chinese authorities are not at their first steps to regulate the local practice of video games.
Two years ago, they announced the limitation of the playing time to an hour and a half per day for minors. In addition, players under the age of 18 cannot practice between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. Since the announcement of the new regulations, Chinese video game companies have lost value on the stock market, according to British news agency Reuters.