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Earlier this month, young Chinese gamers were subjected to a new restriction that permits them three hours of gaming per week. Expectedly, the whippersnappers are already working out how to circumvent the limit.
The rules were intended to continue China's attempts to address "addiction" to gaming, which was in turn instigated by the fact that the market expanded too rapidly for regulation to keep up. Media outlets in the country have compared video games to "digital heroin" and "opium for the mind" as the government expressed concerns over the amount of money people may spend in games.
Furthermore, more than 500 million citizens over five years old were found to experience some degree of shortsightedness in 2015, and while gaming is not wholly the cause of this, state authorities have taken steps to prevent young people from spending a lot of their free time gaming.
When we think of a stereotypical gamer, we might conjure up an image of a child sitting cross legged in front of the telly, but nowadays, the community of gamers is a lot more diverse than it ever used to be. Listen to 93-year-old Ryuji Urabe's story and his love for Forza below!
So, while children and teenagers are only allowed to play for three hours per week, they are slipping under the radar by renting adult accounts for games. As developers like Tencent require real names for registration in its games, pretending to be an adult online lets the youngsters be exempt from the new restrictions (cheers Kotaku for the scoop). For 33 yuan (about $5), you can rent an account for two hours of gaming.
This hasn't gone unnoticed by Tencent, however. It sued over 20 e-commerce sites and account trading platforms for advertising and renting adult accounts in Honor of Kings. Still, there isn't anything stopping parents and guardians from giving their children adult accounts for video games, so these rules have already been sidestepped rather swiftly.
One thing that young gamers will need to look out for is the facial recognition scans that are active between the hours of 10.00pm and 8.00am in Tencent's games. "Anyone who refuses or fails the face verification will be treated as a minor, and as outlined in the anti-addiction supervision of Tencent's game health system, and kicked offline," said the company at the time.
Featured Image Credit: Tencent Holdings, Soumil Kumar via Pexels
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