Thoughts triggered by a gaming control policy in China | Teen Ink

Thoughts triggered by a gaming control policy in China

November 7, 2021
By PATRICK13993 SILVER, Jiangsu Suzhou Kunshan, Other
PATRICK13993 SILVER, Jiangsu Suzhou Kunshan, Other
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Recently, China has introduced new rules to limit the time of playing video games for children under 18 to prevent them from gaming addiction. In the past, the regulation was not so strong, minors still owned half hours of playtime per day. However, the latest anti-addiction measures have become much stricter than before. It's not just that teenagers don't have access to games at all on weekdays. Real-name user verification and facial identification systems also make it harder for teenagers to avoid the adolescents’ protection system. Now, all minors can only play for one hour between 8 pm and 9 pm on Fridays, Saturdays and, Sundays. The policy is applicable to all enterprises providing online gaming services. This is devastating for many teenagers.


There's a reason for the unprecedented severity of the anti-addiction system. Many parents have been complaining about their children's addiction to online games for a long time. And some of them have been proposing that the government should regulate video game companies and limit the amount of play time. According to my observation, classmates around me who achieve bad academic performances have trouble in getting along with their parents. In the official notification published on the National Press and Publication Administration, a short phrase caught my attention. In Chinese, it says “反映强烈”,which means strong reflection. Such words are quite rare in such a formal notification. One reasonable possibility to explain is petition letter. Petition letter basically means that citizens provide advice for the government through the form of letters. According to the notification, the government are supposed to actively guide families, schools, and other social sectors to create a good environment conducive to the healthy growth of minors, and perform the duty of guardianship according to law. This indicates that the environment should be created by the family instead of executed by administrative means. In this way, the wishes of those parents can be fulfilled.


With the implementation of the policy, all kinds of different opinions and ideas have appeared on the Internet. Some people think that the citizens should strongly support the strict time setting for play. Additionally, the problem of eyesight cannot be ignored either. According to the investigation, Chinese teenagers have the highest myopia rate around the world. Parents expect to reduce the harm to children’s eyes by controlling the gaming time. However, some people believe that the strict limitationmay bring side effect, which is more likely to increase teenage rebellion and fail to achieve the goal of healthy growth. It might be forgame whose targeted customers are adults instead of , since some games designed to target minors


In my personal opinion, the regulation on limit of game time has its good intention. By limiting the amount of time adolescents can spend on games, adolescents’ mental health can ideally be ensured. If students have less time on games, people expect them can spend more time on studying and achieve a better academic performance. However, the real outcome and side effects cannot be ignored, either. When they are limited by the anti-addiction system, they might connect to the Internet through VPN or Taobao (an online shopping app) or other forms to download the relevant game resource packages to play with an affordable price. A good example of this is Steam. VPN can help people have access to online resources abroad. After hearing that most online games in China are restricted by the anti-addiction system. Most of the students in my class began to download Steam to play the games they were interested in. Therefore, it can be seen that the anti-addiction system does not limit the time that minors play games at all. In fact, the policy makes no difference on minors playing games but even arouses their strong rebellious attitude. I also worry that when games are banned and teenagers don't know what to do, the chances of them getting into street fights may increase exponentially. Teenagers are hormonal, so when they can't express their emotions and kill spare times in online games, one thing they might tend to do is physical game or activities, which may increase the possibilities of argument, physical conflict, or even street fighting. Therefore, how to help the young groups to learn some time manage skills and increase the ability of self-control to allocate their time more efficiently and meaningfully is the next important question all parties need to think about and make effort.

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