The Peoples Daily Online
recently broke the news that China will be introducing new laws to limit the amount of time minors spend playing games.
The law, which will take effect on April 15th, will force online games to use software that they call a 'game fatigue system'. This system will prompt players under 18 that they are playing for unhealthy amounts of time once they have played for more than three hours.
If players continue to play after this they will only be able to earn half the usual amount of points for a period of two hours. Playing for more than five hours will earn no points at all and will give the player the following warning every fifteen minutes:
"You have entered unhealthy game time, please go offline immediately to rest. If you do not, your health will be damaged and your points will be cut to zero."
Wily youngsters will be prevented from cheating the system by being forced to supply real names and identity card numbers as proof of their age.
Games companies such as The9, who run World of Warcraft
in China, will have four months to introduce the system. Any game not in accordance by July 16 will be shut down.
A spokesperson for The9 said that they are not worried by the new law as the majority of their players are adults and wil therefore be unaffected.
However, experts believe it will be the need to register with a real identity that will have the biggest impact. Liu Bin, Chief Analyst at Research House BDA China has said that "The system requires every online player to register with their real identity. This will scare away many adult and young users."
The official numbers indicate that the number of online gamers in China last year was around 123 million, 15 percent of whom were minors.
The news comes at the same type as pressure mounts to classify gaming addiction as a recognised psychological condition.
If you've ever found yourself unable to give up on Warcrack, or think that similar steps should be taken within the UK then our forums
are the place to be heard!