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China calls for action against "unhealthy" online games

State committee says games should come with built-in caps on continuous playing hours; warns of "unpatriotic" content

Around four million young people in China are addicted to the internet thanks to "unhealthy" online games, according to a Beijing Times report picked up on by AFP.

Li Jianguo, vice chairman of the standing committee of the National People's Congress, said that 10 per cent of China's web users were "internet addicted teenagers".

Jianguo's committee also reportedly called for stricter monitoring of online games for illegal or "unpatriotic" content.

The committee apparently wants games to have a built-in cap for the maximum allowable number of hours of continuous play - automatically logging the player off once it has been exceeded.

Although reports are often exaggerated, there have been confirmed deaths associated with gaming addiction in China, including a man in Guangzhou who died after three continuous days of gameplay in an internet caf.

Earlier this year it was revealed that China's online gaming market grew 60 per cent in 2007 and will reach more than 59 million gamers by 2009.

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