China cuts minors’ gaming time to just three hours a week

Gaming in China is becoming more restrictive than ever. As the country battles alleged gaming addiction, the country's children are paying the price. Instead of being free to game in their free time, Chinese minors will only be allowed to game for a few hours a week.

Reported by Reuters, the National Press and Publication Administration has enforced new limitations. In a move to protect “the physical and mental health of minors”, the governmental choice will likely just make them depressed.

China gaming time cut to three hours a week

The Reuters report explains that China has decreased gaming time for under-18s. Initially, gaming time was limited to 1.5 hours on every day of the week. On a holiday, children could play games for as much as three hours.

Now, children are even more restricted. Gaming time has been slashed to just one hour a day. Furthermore, that one hour can only be used on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or a holiday day. The NPPA claims that this is for “the cultivation of the younger generation in the era of national rejuvenation."

This gaming ban doesn't just span devices such as games consoles, but all gaming platforms. Mobile gaming is a massive market for Chinese companies like Tencent. However, the ban will also limit Chinese audiences from playing games on their phone.

Read More: LinkedIn accounts that mention Tiananmen Square are hidden in China

Facial recognition will make sure there's no gaming

China's war on gaming is already crossing over ethical boundaries. This July, Tencent revealed Midnight Patrol, a tool that used AI facial tracking to stop children gaming at night. Before this new gaming ban, games would scan the user’s face and kick off children between 10pm and 8am.

Techno-parenting your children has always been a scary prospect for some. Of course, baby monitors are a form of techno-parenting that makes sense. However, should a company and a government decide when and how you let your kids play free?

Read More: China’s WeChat mass deletes LGBT accounts as anti-queer rhetoric spreads

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