by Aditi Swaminathan
A new policy, effective September 1, was passed in China to restrict minors from gaming during the school week, with the exception of an hour on Fridays, weekends, and holidays. There were already guidelines in place, stating gaming time allotments and ages, but this newly passed law takes the gaming prohibitions to a new level. It requires that gamers must also enter real names and that the gaming companies must ask for the real names as well.
Not only has China cracked down on gaming companies, but the entirety of the digital space has been feeling pressure from the result of the new laws. Technology sectors such as Alibaba, which is known as the Amazon of China, have been targeted by China over personal data records.
This new law has caused a mixed bag of reactions. Many parents are happy at the increased pressure about screentime, pleased that it allows children more time to study and engage in other hobbies. Some parents had even started their children on a ‘digital detox’, sending them to no-technology centers for adolescents where minors can participate in various activities.
Another rise for concern amongst the citizens of China is the culture around pro-gaming competitions; with the bans on gaming during the weekdays has people wondering about how such competitions can continue, and how people who game for a career will continue.
Though the reaction to this new law hasn’t been entirely positive, especially from impacted businesses and companies, it forces the next generation to look beyond the screen.