China Bans Kids From Playing Games After 10pm, Caps Microtransaction Spending

A new Chinese law that went into place on Tuesday has placed extreme limits on the screen times of the nation’s youth, with everyone under the age of 18 now restricted from playing video games for longer than 90 minutes a day, or between the hours of 10pm-8am.

As the New York Times reports, China’s National Press and Publication Administration announced the changes earlier this week, which are aimed at addressing issues like video game addiction, nearsightedness and “poor academic performance across a broad swath of society”.

The curfew times apply seven days a week, while the 90-minute time limit applies Monday-Friday. On weekends, kids will be allowed three hours per day. They’ll also have to sign up for online gaming accounts using their real names and identification.

In addition to the stuff controlling time spent in front of a screen, an additional measure is also aimed at tackling the amount of money spent on DLC and microtransactions. There will now be a hard limit of between $US28 ($41)-$US57 ($83) a month users are able to spend on items, which scales depending on how old the player is.

While this all sounds very sudden and drastic, the NYT reports that the industry has known this was coming for a while, and many games and providers already provide baked-in limits similar to these in the Chinese market.


    So much to look forward to under the influence of our new Chinese overlords.

    This will be my last post on Kotaku. Sorry guys, but y'all are a drag on my Social Credit Score.

      Oh you don't have to wait for China to take part in that bright and shining future, the Australian government has you covered my friend.

      Social credit scoring, facial recognition tracking, individual data collection and more are already here and in play!
      No need to sign up, you already are!

    I can see why the industry is so eager to stake their futures on relying on this incredibly stable and predictable market.

    But how are the kids meant to spend all their Blizzardbucks!

    "Human Rights abuses? No. It's the video games that are wrong."

    As tongue-in-cheek as that was I got flashbacks from Western Media... maybe China is trying to emulate the Western media's dream to ban games all together and obtain World Peace.

    This should have came sooner than later. Kids shouldn't over induldge in video games when they should be spending time on studying/sports instead.

      In the event that this isn't just an attempt at trolling...

      It's not the Government's role to decide that. And setting arbitrary conditions don't help. I'd much rather my kid played a game for six hours on Sunday when it's "free time" than 90 minutes every night of the week. Or if they're ready and packed for school and have half an hour in the morning why shouldn't they play a little at 7am?

    NYT actually got the facts wrong, the MTX is only applied to underage. There are still no limit.

    This is the bat that parents, trained to be incapable of saying 'No' to their little darlings, need - "Sorry sweety, it isn't me stopping you playing Fortnite, it's the government."

    Government - substituting for poor parenting everywhere.

    They are actively trying to ban the use of VPN's as well. But I can imagine avid gamers will easily find a means around these blocks.

    The evil Chinese government does something f****** retarded? Why am I not surprised? All that time where they're supposedly 'allowed' to play games (which is no different to doing anything else, so why don't they just ban all activities other than sleeping?) is already taken up by school, homework, and whatever other extra-curricular stuff their parents force them into, and the government obviously knows that.

    It makes me sick what a toxic place China is and the hundreds of millions who suffer as a result.

    It is totally not terrifying at all that Western companies are bending over to please /this/ government and absolutely gambling their financial stability on that economy making them incapable of ever going against their overlords without committing corporate suicide. I am not anxious about the future at all!

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now