The complicated relationship between China and video games has taken a new turn. Ironically, China who has the largest market for the video gaming industry has a complex relationship with the industry. The Government tends to come up with new yet disheartening news regarding the industry. This time it hurt the sentiments of young gamers, especially after the gaming giants decided to side with the Government.
Chinese video gaming industry decided to adhere to new rules by the Government. Around 213 Chinese gaming giants, which include NetEase and Tencent, have agreed to shut any loopholes. This is all per the new law about young gamers of China. The law restricts children from playing more than three hours a week.
However, the decision of the Government and then the Chinese video gaming companies have affected parents and e-gamers. One seems to praise the law, and the other portion of the population is rather distressed. Amidst all of this, the Chinese gaming industry seems to bloom in all its glory. In this article, we will discuss this whole new turn in the industry. Let us understand the parents’ reaction and the young gamers’ reaction to this new Chinese gaming industry lash.
Companies Promise to Close Any Loopholes
On the 23rd of September, China’s video game industry association, including over 200 companies, issued a self-regulation pact. In this pact, they promised to follow the Chinese Government’s mandate to curb gaming hours for youngsters. This restriction was issued to lessen the video game addiction among the young Chinese population. The companies further disclosed that they would be filtering inappropriate content and blocking international platforms.
It was all announced by a blog post published in the China Game Publishers Association Publications Committee (GPC). In this blog post, around 213 companies agreed to integrate their video games with anti-addiction features. They also pledge to stop providing gaming companion services and account rentals to young gamers. Rather than this, they have also wished to ban contents that authorities targeted. This includes money worship, unmanly male, gay love, etc. The companies will also close down on content that might be historically nihilistic or politically damaging.
On further discussion, the companies revealed that they will, “resolutely boycott circumventing regulatory procedures and using overseas gaming platforms to provide services to domestic users.” according to South China Morning Post.
Nevertheless, this document or blog post is not to be legally binding.
Check what Charles Yu has to say on this “This article is aimed primarily at online game stores such as Steam and the Epic Games Store.” He also added “Because game licenses in China are restricted, Chinese gaming companies going overseas is going to be a big trend. How they will enforce this article remains to be seen,” according to South China Morning Post.
Steam has never been banned in any country. It is the biggest PC game distributor.
What the Parents Have to Say About the Law?
It should not come as a surprise, but the parents are relatively happy with such a decision from the Government. It is still too early to say whether these gaming laws will help in preventing addiction or not. Many experts believe it should be the parents who should set the limits. Nevertheless, the parents seem to be optimistic about these laws.
A study conducted in 2018 found that one in ten Chinese youngsters to be addicted to games. Hence, the state decided to restrict the time of play for Chinese children. The new laws ensure that gaming giants such as Tencent and NetEase make amends accordingly. Thus, they have decided to adhere to the new rules.
For many parents, the uncontrollable gaming time of their kids has become a significant issue of concern. Many parents claim that the kids keep on playing for as long as 4 hours at a stretch. However, with new in-build gaming features in effect, parents can make the kids indulge in something productive. This will, in turn, help the kids spend time discovering new interests and hobbies.
Parents who work find it very hard to focus on how much time their kids spend on games. Thus, introducing new gaming features that restrict the gaming time for kids will help them a lot.
Impact On Chinese Gamers
Video gaming is one of the primary sources of entertainment in China. Online multiplayer games are more of a platform for social interactions. For several years experts’ addiction and distraction due to games have been a severe issue. This new rule is in response to the same concern. Even though the young population doesn’t constitute much of the Chinese gaming industry revenue, other consequences will be.
However, gamers are not okay with this regulation at all! They grudgingly pointed out how the age to limitlessly play games is 18, whereas someone can give sexual consent at 14. People in the esports industry have said how these laws will affect the industry. It will hurt the talent development and recruitment section. Many players develop professional gaming skills at young as 12 years of age. Players might have to wait for way too many years to get to play at a professional level.
Experts think curbing the gaming time should be the job of parents and not the Government. It may cost the country to give up on bringing up new e-sports stars. Moreover, it does not necessarily mean that kids will not find workarounds. If they cannot invest their time in games, they may find out other platforms to indulge in their free time.
Many designers and gamers believe this to be a “one-size-fits-all” rule. They also think it will take time to feel the impact of these laws and regulations.
It is for time to tell whether this law will curb gaming addiction or not. But, it surely is getting a mixed reaction from different groups of the population across the country. Some are applauding the new law, whereas another part of the population is quite disappointed. After the gaming companies decided to prevent all loopholes, the parents felt relieved. Yet many experts said that kids might find other entertainment platforms to indulge in when they’re free. So, they aren’t as optimistic as the parents. Let us wait for few years to know about the impact of these protocols.