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Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest

The Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest brings together addiction and mental health service providers, researchers and subject matter experts in the fields of gambling, technology/Internet use and video gaming to collaborate and share knowledge on emerging trends and clinical best practices.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that China imposed a new rule for the country’s minors: No videogames during the school week and one hour a day on Fridays, weekends and public holidays.

China announced strict new measures today to reduce what authorities describe as youth videogame addiction.

The new regulation, announced by the National Press and Publication Administration, allows minors to play videogames between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Fridays and weekends as well as public holidays.

It isn't clear how the government plans to enforce this new measure. Read more about this story.

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I saw a similar article earlier last month where Tencent, one of the larger Chinese video game companies, made a pledge that they would reduce play time for minors to an hour during weekdays and no more than two hours during vacations and holidays. They did this after Chinese state media made a comment about video games being “spiritual opium”.

The company also implemented measures such as facial recognition systems for certain games to prevent kids from using their parents’ IDs to buy in-game items or playing late at night.

Some of these attempts at reducing gaming seems like they may create problems of their own from my perspective. Privacy issues with facial recognition is one example. The strict rule setting also may have backfire effects, as kids don't learn to regulate their play and instead are forced to follow rules. When those rules may no longer apply (i.e., when they're older) they may end up not having developed the skills to regulate play, feel deprived of games (which increases the value of playing games) and ultimately cause more harm to an older population which has larger rippling harms (i.e., doing poorly in university may be more impactful than doing poorly in grade 2).

Wondering what other peoples thoughts are on what China is doing to address these issues?

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