The China Game Industry Research Institute released a report named "2022 China Game Industry Progress Report on the Protection of Minors" on Tuesday together with other departments, which showed that the problem of minors' addiction to online games has been largely solved. However, what is worrying is that much of the time originally spent on games is now being used to browse short videos.
The report shows that the problem of minors' addiction to games in China has been basically solved. The proportion of minors who spend less than three hours a week or none on online games has grown to more than 75 percent thanks to the new anti-addiction rules, and more minors are included in the supervision of the anti-addiction system.
To prevent online gaming addiction among minors, China's National Press and Publication Administration, which is in charge of licensing video games in China, released a notice in August 2021, requiring online game providers to offer only one-hour services to minors from 8 pm to 9 pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, as well as on official holidays.
The Cyberspace Administration of China also released a draft in March, asking online gaming companies in China to establish and improve game rules to prevent minors from becoming addicted to online games and to ensure that minors do not come into contact with game content or functions that will affect their physical and mental health.
The new rules have led to reduced gaming by minors. The report shows that minors' entertainment behavior has shifted from games to other activities after the implementation of China's anti-addiction rules for games.
However, what worries many people is that 65.54% of minors are now spending the time, which they originally spent on games, on short video apps, up 7.81% year-on-year; 48.02% spend their time on online videos, up 6.06% year-on-year, and 9.04% spend their time on live streaming, up 6.06% year-on-year.
The report also pointed out that there are several reasons why some minors still spend too much time on online games, including the fact that there are still ways to bypass anti-addiction supervision. Also, the face recognition system for games is difficult to popularize, and there is information asymmetry between parents and children.
Protecting minors from becoming addicted to online games should not stop at only limiting their game time or protecting them from harmful content, said He Wei, a professor with the School of Art and Communication of Beijing Normal University, Southcn.com reported.
He called for improved understanding of online games so that people can fully recognize the great potential of online games in teaching, psychology and creativity.
Zhang Zhaogong, director of the Game Design Department at the Communication University of China, said that protection of minors should be used to effectively promote the development of China's game industry, rather than it being an obstacle.