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LONG BLOG

China vs Gamers - Curfew Nightmare

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There's been a lot of talk about China and the money they float around controlling aspects of our lives here in the US. That's all incredibly interesting, but there's a new topic in town. China is now trying to curb gaming addiction in its own country by limiting how much people play them. Specifically gamers under 18 now have a curfew, and limits on how much they play.

To a westerner like myself this blows my mind. I couldn't fathom living in such conditions, though luckily I'm much older than 18 now. Still, these restrictions are as follows:

- Cannot play video games between the hours of 10pm and 8am

- Cannot play more than 90 minutes per day on weekdays. Weekends and Holidays they can play 3 hours a day.

- Cannot spend more than $23 on games per month.

It sounds crazy, because it is crazy, but I think back on my youth and easily throwing 80 hours at Final Fantasy 7 to beat it, then thinking...under these restrictions that would take me roughly 54 straight weekdays to complete the game, provided of course I'm not playing on weekends.

Also, some may wonder how does China enforce this? Well how does China enforce anything they do? With an iron fist! My guess is, they will require all online games to have implemented in them a clock tied to a persons account that counts how much they've played that day and locks them out of playing if it goes beyond that. If they don't implement a feature like this then they won't be allowed to sell their game there.

This is also probably really easy to track when you also consider it's very difficult for anyone to get a conventional video game system in China. One that wouldn't track your play-time. Considering the vast majority of gaming is done on cell phones, the Chinese government could enforce this incredibly easily. This would be impossible to track in the US when you have so many game consoles that can be played offline. Though, for modern gaming that's becoming less and less possible.

I personally don't understand this restriction. If I'm a brutal communist country like China the last thing I'd want to do is take away what little joy my citizens can find in life. The vast majority of these people lead lives of factory work 18 hour days, grueling environments, just to make the smallest sum of money, or a bag of rice at the end of the day. Granted my knowledge of their living situations comes from a very old piece done by the show 20/20 when they reviewed factories making Apple products, but still. And sure, this applies to mostly adults who aren't affected by this policy, but kids work too there, a lot of them in fact.

But that's just my two cents, I don't run the lives of over a billion people so what do I know.

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About acefonduone of us since 3:30 PM on 10.02.2013