China’s Ministry of Culture has brought in new regulations that ban children from using virtual currency to buy in-game items. The rules also include restrictions in how long children can play and what games constitute exposing them to “unwholesome and corrupting content.”
The changes were reported via the Xinhua news agency. The regulations will likely be effectively policed due to a requirement that all players of online games must register with their real names and details.
To clarify this means minors will be banned from purchasing or selling items, or bartering with virtual currencies, however purchasing goods and services will be acceptable.
All game companies will be required to find ways of limiting young gamers playing time in a bid to “prevent addiction”, an issue that has made headline news in China for some time following the deaths of some youths reportedly addicted to online games.
The list of game content deemed inappropriate for minors goes from the straightforward pornography, violence and gambling, to the more abstract such as cults and superstition.