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Chinese gov to penalise MMO players in-game for addiction

Play too long, we make you suck.

The general administration of press and publication (GAPP) in China has announced details of its planned measures to cut back on the level of addiction to massively multiplayer videogames among young people in the country.

The government is planning to enforce a system whereby players who remain in a game for over three hours are penalised heavily within the game itself, with the penalties - in the form of weakening of their character - gradually mounting up as more time is spent in-game.

Gamers will then have to wait for five hours before they can log in again, or the penalties will not have been reset and will continue to mount up.

The measures, which will be introduced in October, are part of a new drive to curb serious social problems being associated with addiction to MMOG titles among Chinese young people.

Only last month, the Chinese government announced its intention to ban all minors from playing any online games which it classed as violent - extending that definition to cover any game in which players engaged in combat against each other.

All companies who operate MMOGs in the huge Chinese market are required to comply with the new regulations, and so far most of the country's largest operators have signed up to help beta test the system, including Shanda, SINA, Kingsoft, Sohu, NetEase, Optisp and World of Warcraft operators The9.