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China had a problem with kids' online gaming addiction. They claim to have solved it

Mohammad Bilal
Mohammad BilalNov 24, 2022 | 19:13

China had a problem with kids' online gaming addiction. They claim to have solved it

According to China, underage citizens who were heavily addicted to online gaming have reduced in the last one year after strict regulations were put on online gaming. Photo: Getty

China's Game Industry Group Committee has claimed that young people, especially children, in China are spending less time on online video games and that they have successfully curbed their addition to online video games. Calling online gaming as 'spiritual opium' Chinese government had clamped down on online gaming services a year ago. 

The government had imposed numerous restrictions on underage citizens who play online video games. The excessive gaming had turned into addiction for many children and had left the government worried about their future.

The addiction increased further in the last two years as Covid-19 induced lockdowns locked children inside their homes and online games became their only succour. 

What were the curbs on online gaming? In August 2021, China imposed online gaming restrictions on children below the age of 18. Online gamers below this age were only allowed to play games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and that too only from 8 pm to 9 pm.

  • The move was taken by the government after growing concerns about the impact of excessive gaming on young people.
  • An article published by the Economic Information Daily had said that teenagers had become addicted to online gaming and it was having negative impact on their lives.
  • Mental health problems, myopia and several health issues were seen in children.
  • Online gaming titles were also ordered to have real name verification systems. The National Press and Public Administration (NPPA) had said that the new rules were in response to the harmful effects of online gaming on the mental and physical well-being of the children.
  • NPPA had also ensured that regulators who violate the laws would also be punished after inspections.
    Children in China playing video games at a gaming station. Photo: Getty Images

    China's long struggle with online video games: China has roughly 158 million internet users aged between 6 and 19, accounting for 15.7 % of the country's total citizens.

  • In the recent years, China's gaming industry has risen more by private investment.
  • Data from the China Internet Network Information Center showed that the annual revenue of China's gaming industry surged to 278.7 billion yuan (about 43 billion US dollars) in 2020, which was an 20.71 % increase from 2020.
  • The sector of mobile gaming contributed to 75% of the total revenue.
  • Moreover, a recent research report suggested that more than 60% of underage citizens play online video games, with mobile gaming making up for 56%. 
  • Child psychologists in China have warned that with poor self-control, kids and adolescents are vulnerable to losing themselves in the virtual world.
Last updated: November 24, 2022 | 19:13
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