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China's New Law: No Video Games on School Nights

And children can only play for one hour per day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2021 11:00 AM CDT
China's New Law: No Video Games on School Nights
Stock image.   (Getty/Nastco)

(Newser) – China just put a new law in place that's sure to have Americans of all ages doing a double-take. Kids can no longer play videos games on school nights. What's more, they can play for only one hour per night on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, from 8 to 9pm, to be exact. Chinese authorities spelled out the new rules—and these are not mere recommendations, but regulations—via the National Press and Public Administration, reports the Wall Street Journal. They apply to anyone under 18 and are aimed at curbing what authorities call "youth video game addiction," notes the Guardian. Earlier this month, an official state outlet used the phrase "spiritual opium" to describe the games, per the BBC.

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If you're wondering how on earth the state could possibly enforce this, the onus apparently will be on game-makers. Companies will be required to boot minors off their systems except during their allotted three hours per week, and they will be under scrutiny to make sure they don't allow anyone to slip in under a fake identity. China's largest such company, Tencent, announced restrictions on the play of minors earlier this month, but these rules go much further. Bloomberg notes that China boasts the world's biggest mobile gaming market, and the crackdown might worry investors. "This ruling is the strictest one to date and will essentially wipe out most spending from minors," says an analyst at Niko Partners. (Read more video games stories.)

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