China is Restricting Video Games to Three Hours Per Week for School-Aged Children

China has told its youth to cut back on video games, limiting their playing time to a mere three hours per week.

The General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) announced strict new regulations on the playing of video games, targeting school-aged children. Not only will they be barred from playing at all every Monday through Thursday, their allotted hour on weekends and public holidays must be from 8 to 9pm, according to the Wall Street Journal.

One might ask how China will be able to enforce this. The GAPP did not specify any enforcement measures, but the WSJ points out that at least one video game company uses a “combination of technologies, automatically booting off players after a certain period of time and using real-name registration and facial-recognition technology to limit game play for minors.”

Chinese authorities claim video game addiction among school-aged children is hurting their obligations to school and family. Even President Xi Jinping has raised the issue before, saying at the National People’s Congress in March that Chinese youth are not “psychologically mature” enough to handle excessive video game playing, along with all of the other “dirty and messy things” they encounter online.

China has also been alarmed at a countercultural trend among young adults called “tangping,” translated as “lying flat.” Some Chinese millennials say it’s a response to a consumerist society that’s significantly overworking them. Those who “lie flat” choose not to work, prefer to remain unmarried and childless, and have little desire to buy a house or car. The New York Times reports that many Chinese employers expect employees to work “996,” or 9am to 9pm six days per week.

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