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Chinese Gov clamps down on youth game addiction

You have 3 months to comply.

The Chinese Government has given online game operators until 16th July to implement software that severely restricts the amount of time children under-18 are allowed to play their games, People's Daily Online reports.

With the software installed, games will allow children to play for up to three hours, before halving the amount of points they can earn for the next two to try and drive them away from the computer screen.

After five hours, scores will be zeroed with no more points to earn, and a warning will flash up every 15 minutes explaining that this is "unhealthy game time", advising the player to have a rest.

Peculiar, eh? But probably not all that surprising to Chinese gamers, who have heard this sort of thing before. The Chinese Government has previously taken steps to try and keep kids away from the Internet too. Good idea - we bite.

Even the game companies seem to have little problem with the new regulations, since most of their customers are adults anyway, but there is concern that one element of the new scheme could cause problems: the need for gamers to register their real names and identity card numbers in order to play.

"The system requires every online player to register with their real identity. This will scare away many adult and young users," BDA China chief analyst Liu Bin told People's Daily Online.

Whether they like it or not though, companies that don't take steps to fall into line with the new rules will have their games shut down when the three months are up.

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Tom Bramwell

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Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.

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