China’s video game law is too strict


By Jacob Roushia

On Nov. 5, China announced regulations for minors playing video games. This is part of a series of regulations released by the National Press and Publication Administration, according to the Guardian. 

These stipulations include only being able to play 90 minutes of video games a day and restricting games with certain content, including violence. This hurts video game players by restricting what they can play and how long they can play. Some video game matches or game modes can last more than an hour. 

The new regulation only allows minors to play video games until 10 p.m. The time resets at 8 a.m. the following day, according to BBC. 

Chinese government officials said that online video games “affect the health and learning of minors,” according to NPR. This has been a common scapegoat targeting video games since their inception in the U.S.

The Chinese government’s claim is just untrue. On The Independent, they conducted research that proved a majority of gamers benefit from video games in several ways. Through their research, 55% of gamers find that video games help them deal with stress and anxiety. Also three out of four gamers would rather play with people online then play single player. 

United States politicians have impacted video games in the past. Because of the U.S. Congress’ view on games such as Night Trap and Mortal Kombat, the ESRB was created, according to Polygon. The ESRB is the age rating system for video games in the United States. 

Video games have been blamed for school shootings, failing students and obesity, just to name a few. 

These myths have been debunked by organizations like PBS and The New York Times. 

“It’s true that young offenders who have committed school shootings in America have also been game players. But young people in general are more likely to be gamers — 90 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls play,” according to PBS.

This is why statistics could be misleading for young gamers being blamed for violent acts. 

Only allowing minors to play games for a certain amount of time can be devastating for video game players. China is the largest video game market in the world, according to USA Today. Its market is currently worth $32.5 billion, according to Forbes. That is a huge country of people that would like to play video games and are being told they can only play for a limited amount of time. 

Esports has been on the rise in popularity, especially in China, according to Forbes. Athletes compete for millions of dollars. After the new ruling, it will be even harder to practice or join a team as a minor. This can potentially take away someone’s future career or hobby. 

Part of the directive even affects adult gamers as well.

“A state spokesperson says that everyone, regardless of age, is prohibited from playing games that depict sexual explicitness, goriness, violence and gambling,” according to NPR. Controlling media is wrong and prohibits artists and developers from expressing themselves. 

Not only are people being told how long they can play and what they can play, but the Chinese government is restricting how much a person can spend on video games. 

Gamers aged between eight and 16 years old can only top up 200 yuan, or $29, per month, while the maximum amount for those between ages 16 and 18 will be 400 yuan, or $57, according to CNN. 

Most new video games cost $60 in the U.S., and downloadable content can range anywhere from $1 to even the high price of $50,000. This price of video games in the United States compared to China are very similar. 

Normally, a recently released [game] will cost around $49-65. This is about the same price you pay in the U.S.,” according to Polygon.

 This regulation restricts what gamers can even afford to play.

This should never happen in the U.S. because video games can help people relieve stress, meet people, socialize and build hand-eye coordination.