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China to restrict online gaming hours

Thu 12 Apr 2007 10:35am GMT / 6:35am EDT / 3:35am PDT

The Chinese Government has given online game operators until July 16 to implement software that severely restricts the amount of time children under-18 are allowed to play their games, according to the People's Daily.

The Chinese Government has given online game operators until July 16 to implement software that severely restricts the amount of time children under-18 are allowed to play their games, according to the People's Daily.

With the software installed, children will be able to play games in the normal way for up to three hours. During the following two hours, the amount of points they can earn will be halved.

After five hours, scores will be zeroed with no more points to earn. In addition, a warning will flash up every 15 minutes explaining that this is "unhealthy game time" and advising the player to rest.

It would seem that games companies seem to have little problem with the new regulations as most of their customers are adults. However, there is concern that one element of the new scheme could cause problems: the need for gamers to register their real names and identity card numbers in order to play.

"The system requires every online player to register with their real identity. This will scare away many adult and young users," BDA China chief analyst Liu Bin told People's Daily Online.

Companies will have their games shut down unless they fail to comply with the new rules by the July 16 deadline.

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