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China says it's solved youth game addiction

Previously described as "spiritual opium".

The issue of young people growing addicted to video games has been solved, China says.

The country's top industry body made the announcement yesterday, Reuters reported, following the introduction of a draconian set of rules which restricted anyone in the country under the age of 18 from playing video games longer than three hours in any typical week.

This crackdown has achieved "remarkable results", the China Game Industry Group Committee data provider CNG said, with more than 75 percent of all under-18s now claimed to be following the rules.

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The announcement is likely to be welcomed by China's gaming sector, and may suggest there are no current plans for a further crackdown on young people playing games.

25 percent of China's population aged under-18 evading the rules to play games longer than their government's limits is still a lot of people. And in August, it was reported that 46 percent were playing less than three hours but outside of the agreed hours.

China's current weekly gaming limit was announced in August last year as the latest in a line of increasingly restrictive curbs deemed necessary to combat the "spiritual opium" of video game addiction.

Under 18s are required to limit their gaming to just an hour per day - and only on Fridays, weekends, and public holidays.

Enforcement of these regulations was left to gaming companies - which track the online activity of children using real-name identification, backed up by a police database.

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Tom Phillips


Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-Chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon. Tom joined Eurogamer in 2010 following a stint running a Nintendo fansite, and still owns two GameCubes. He also still plays Pokémon Go every day.