China Bans Kids From Playing Games After 10 p.m., Caps Microtransaction Spending

A new Chinese law that went into place on Tuesday has placed extreme limits on the screen times of the nation’s youth, with everyone under the age of 18 now restricted from playing video games for longer than 90 minutes a day, or between the hours of 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.

As the New York Times reports, China’s National Press and Publication Administration announced the changes earlier this week, which are aimed at addressing issues like video game addiction, nearsightedness, and “poor academic performance across a broad swath of society.

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The curfew times apply seven days a week, while the 90-minute time limit applies Monday through Friday. On weekends, kids will be allowed three hours per day. They’ll also have to sign up for online gaming accounts using their real names and identification.

Besides the stuff controlling time spent in front of a screen, an additional measure is aimed at tackling the amount of money spent on DLC and microtransactions. There will now be a hard limit of between $28 and $57 a month users are able to spend on items, which scales depending on how old the player is.

While this all sounds very sudden and drastic, the NYT reports that the industry has known this was coming for a while, and many games and providers already provide baked-in limits similar to these in the Chinese market.

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Luke Plunkett

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.