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China adopts online video game curfew for minors to thwart addiction

by Ace Damon
China adopts online video game curfew for minors to thwart addiction

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China has implemented an online curfew for minors, a measure aimed at preventing gambling addiction and improving the health of children and adolescents.

According government rules issued wednesday, gaming companies cannot allow players under 18 to play on their online gaming networks between 10 pm and 8 am

Chinese officials have been concerned that minors become addicted to games. The subject is "worthy of attention," according to an official government interview posted by the Xinhua News Agency, the country's state news agency.

The new rules are "of great importance and practical role in strengthening and enhancing online game management, effectively protecting the physical and mental health of minors and creating a fluent literate networking space," says the official.

China is implementing an online curfew for video games for minors. This means that online gaming companies cannot allow minors to play between 10pm. and 8 am

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China is the world's largest video game market with 626 million players and revenue of $ 24.8 billion in 2018, according to consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers. The US is second with $ 24.4 billion, according to PwC.

But growth in China's video game market is outpacing that of the US and is expected to reach $ 35.2 billion by 2023, compared to the US $ 31.1 billion estimate of the US market.

Concerns about video games that are too time-consuming for some Chinese gamers are nothing new. In 2015, a man died in an Internet cafe in Shanghai after playing "World of Warcraft" for 19 consecutive hours.

Last year, the World Health Organization has classified "gambling disorder" as a diagnosable condition, described as patients with "impaired control over games, increasing the priority given to games over other activities, as games take precedence over other daily interests and activities and continuation or escalation of games despite negative consequences" .

Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.

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