Online Gaming Restrictions Eased During Holiday Season; Know How China Tackled Internet Addiction Among Youth

As the week-long New Year holiday approaches in China, children are most excited as strict rules on online gaming are relaxed during the holiday season. The Chinese government will relax rules allowing online gaming for an extra hour a day. For years, authorities have imposed strict controls on the amount of time children spend playing online games. While many parents welcomed the move, it also faced criticism for taking extreme measures to combat internet use. The government chose to relax the rules during the holiday season because it says it has been successful in curbing the problem.

Switching to youth mode settings.

China’s biggest festival, the Lunar New Year holidays, has arrived this year with news of extra days and hours of online gaming for kids. In 2019, authorities will limit minors’ gaming time to 90 minutes per weekday and ban online gaming between 10pm and 8am. By 2021, These restrictions have become more severe, and minors are being held on Friday. on weekends And on public holidays, online gaming is only allowed for one hour per day.

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Social media and game companies set or strengthen “youth mode” settings on their applications, such as child lock features, to protect minors. restricting use in these settings; Features include controlling payments and showing age-appropriate content. Children can bypass these features; Some popular games have enabled a system for real name registration and facial recognition gateways. In addition, game authorization was suspended for more than eight months.

After that, A report by gaming market intelligence firm Niko Partners found that the number of young gamers will drop from 122 million in 2020 to 82.6 million in 2022. A year after the restrictions, the Game Industry Group, a government-affiliated industry group, issued a report saying that the problem of gaming addiction among minors had been basically solved. More than 75 percent of minors in the country play online games for less than three hours a week, and most parents are happy with the new limit, the report said.

Game industry and psychology experts from Beijing said that regardless of the restrictions, parents play an important role in implementing them at home. Parents are at the heart of initiatives aimed at preventing game addiction. So the credit for the government’s decision goes to the parents who continued to follow it despite their children throwing tantrums.

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Beijing resident Zhong Feifei, the mother of an 11-year-old, said that since the restrictions came into effect, she has spent less time playing games compared to her time. Zhong has now completely given up playing online games during the curfew, encouraging her daughter to take advantage of the time to play with other children and do interesting activities. Zhong, who likes to play online games, avoids spending time with the child and sets a good example by leaving home to play with her daughter.

In this regard, the Game Industry Group’s report commented that the “biggest loophole” in game restrictions is parents helping their children bypass the controls. If parents set an example, children will follow. So while an underground market for online games may be on the rise due to severe restrictions, minors are not similarly trapped.

Addressing Pandemic-Contributed Device Addiction.

Restrictions on online gaming have emerged during the pandemic, with growing gaming addiction and reports of children spending large amounts of money online. A report in the New Indian Express quoted Tao as a specialist at the center, which treats 20 children with severe internet addiction every month. During the epidemic, he said, fewer juveniles are dealing with addictions as restrictions. One of the reasons many kids spend so much time playing games is because they learned from watching their parents play online games.

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Because of this, not all parents agree with the government’s serious approach. Huang Yan, mother of a 12-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son, talked about the benefits of playing online games. She said it fostered a sense of teamwork among the children and helped them make friends. the Internet, Games and social media are a global trend and it is impossible to prevent children from using them, according to government restrictions, he said. Like other parents in the gaming community, Such interventions are needed only when children cannot control their gaming habits.

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