China Introduces Strict Regulations For Online Gaming
Chinese publication Xinhua is reporting that China’s Ministry of Culture has passed a series of regulations that will force online games companies to protect minors from “unwholesome” content.
In the People’s Republic of China, ‘minor’ refers to any person under the age of 18. The definition of “unwholesome” it seems, is less clear. Content advocating pornography, cults, superstitions, gambling and violence is explicitly forbidden and beyond that “must be free of content that would lead to imitation of behavior that violates social morals and the law.”
Restrictions on minors purchasing and selling online items with virtual currency have also been introduced, though virtual cash may still be used to buy the “products and services” of online games.
Companies will now be required to prevent possible addition by limiting the amount of hours minors are able to play the games for, in a similar approach to the one being taken in South Korea. How this should be enacted is not made clear by the regulations, nor do they suggest a maximum time allowance.
The regulations are reported to be coming into effect from 1 August this year.