Playing Video Games in an Authoritarian State is Not Easy
It is no secret that China is a tough place to live. The nation has seen tremendous economic growth in the past few decades however, it has lagged behind severely in terms of human rights and personal liberties. The draconian social credit scores and Hong Kong fiasco have been front-page news across the world. While these problems are horrific in their own right, the Chinese government has recently decided to crack down on video games and enforce very strict and stringent regulations for those who play games online.
Chinese children will now be forced to abide by a curfew. No video games from 10 pm to 8 am for anyone under 18. There will also be time restrictions in place. Gamers under the age of 18 will only be allowed to play up to 90 hours online per week. Spending limits are also going to be enforced. Young adults aged 16-18 are only allowed to spend up to $57(USD) per month. Whereas anyone younger than 16 will only be allowed $29(USD).
The internet has always been a thorn in the side of the government in China. The potential for “corrupting forces” to reach its citizens never sat well with the Communist party. The government has claimed that these new laws are being put in place to better protect children from video game addiction. However, many are doubtful and suspicious of the government’s true motives.
The Communist Party of China will now be expect gaming companies to better track their customer’s habits too. It has also been hinted that if companies fail or refuse to comply with these new laws, they could those their business license.
These laws are just one of many that restrict the freedoms of Chinese citizens.