October 14, 2021

Tri-City Weekly

Complete News World

In China, teens were annoyed by government anti-video game restrictions

Via sudouest.fr with AFP

As in France, children can stick to their screen and spend their days. So the miners can only play the most popular game for an hour a day during school hours.

“I want to cry”: It’s summer vacation, but Zhang Yuchen, 14, after tightening restrictions in China to fight youth addiction, needs to find another hobby other than his favorite video game. Giant Tencent, the leader of the Chinese market, has imposed new restrictions on its flagship ultra-popular “Honor of Kings”. Under-18s can now only play for two hours.

Some kids can spend their days sticking to their screen. An event that has long been rejected in China for its negative effects: reduced vision, impact on school results, lack of physical activity or risk of addiction. The weight of video games in this country of 1.4 billion people: They sold 17 billion euros in the first half of 2021 alone.

Minors between the ages of 10 and 8 are banned from playing online. But in early August, when an article in the official economic newspaper suggested that video games had become the “opium of the mind,” the sector began to fear the new regulatory austerity of officials after the sector was digitally targeted.

Fearing a turnaround, stock market investors downgraded shares of the industry’s largest companies (Tencent, Netizens, Philippines …) – causing prices to fall. The article was particularly successful with Tencent and its popular multiplayer online game “Honor of Kings”, with more than 100 million daily active users in China.

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Under pressure, The team already set limits on playing time and facial recognition to prevent under-18s from playing at night., Has tightened the rules even more. From now on, miners can only play one hour during the “Honor of the Kings” school period (and two hours during the holidays) – the title simultaneously. Beyond that, the game is locked.

For many young people, it goes too far. “I’m on vacation. I have nothing else, I only have the right to play for a very short time,” said Blake Miss Lee, 17, who did not want to give her full name. Assuming they can limit themselves, they consider “misery”.

But some children have found a solution. “By using an adult’s account, I play two to three hours a day, of course after 10pm,” the 17-year-old player wants to be anonymous.

Is the markets’ frantic reaction to the article in the official press justified? “It filled the media machine because stock market investors were exaggerated,” said Triumph China analyst Ether Yin. “The government wants to prevent children from becoming addicted to sports from 2018,” he notes, adding that this trend is not really new. According to him, other video game companies are also expected to release their restrictions in the coming weeks.

Dad is a player

Tencent’s new rules also took an unexpected toll: some parents wanted to play with their children.

Peng Jianfi, a 45-year-old programmer who holds the “Honor of Kings” adult account, gave his 12-year-old son permission to use it during his school holidays. But the request for age verification appeared, and the boy, without guessing, entered his ID number – it immediately locked the account. Conclusion: Even Dad can no longer play.

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“These measures may reduce the playing time of minors,” Mr Peng said. “But for now” this is only for a tense game and you can always get around it by “playing” on other platforms, he says.

However, most parents welcome the new restrictions. Ms Wang, a 34-year-old Beijing woman, said, “If children spend too much time playing, it will be bad for their eyesight. But her 10-year-old son, pulling her by the arms, does not share her opinion.” Why are they doing this to us? “