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Restriction prevents gaming addiction among minors, report says

By Chen Liubing | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-11-23 13:54

A user plays an online video game in this illustration photo. [Photo/IC]

More minors have gotten rid of their addiction to online games, as shown by their gaming time and payment decreasing significantly in 2022, since China strengthened law regulations to prevent online gaming addiction last year, a report showed on Tuesday.

The 2022 Report on “The Protection of Minors in China's Game Industry”, jointly released by the Game Publishing Committee of the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association, China Game Industry Research Institute, and research institute CNG on Tuesday, was based on interviews with multiple families and thousands of questionnaires, as well as feedbacks from gaming companies and experts.

The number of Internet users under the age of 19 in China will reach 186 million in 2022, according to data from the China Internet Network Information Center.

About 75.49 percent of minors play games for less than three hours per week in 2022, compared with the 67.76 percent in 2021, as the problem of minors' game addiction has been basically solved, the report said.

Nearly 30 percent of minors have decreased their game-related payment during the past year. Meanwhile, the proportion of families with minors making game payments without parents' permission decreased to 15.43 percent in 2022, a significant decrease from the 28.61 percent in 2021.

The anti-addiction systems of game companies covered more than 90 percent of minor players, the report said. It also showed that after the regulation was released, minors who still have gaming habits turn to short videos and online videos for entertainment needs.

According to user research, more than 76 percent of underage game users happened to meet facial verification. As more games are connected to the facial verification system, fewer minors could get around the restriction by using adults’ identity information.

Various regions in China have released more than 70 policies and regulations for minors’ protection by September 2022, raising more requests on user information protection, product content review and functional game development, according to the report.

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