China blocks online gamers 2005-08-24 08:28:20
Shanghai. August 23. INTERFAX-CHINA - The Chinese Government unveiled a new system Tuesday to prevent individuals from playing online games for more than three consecutive hours, which must be installed for every online game in the country.
"This timing mechanism can prevent young people from becoming addicted to online games," Kou Xiaowei, Deputy Director of the Audiovisual and Internet Publication Department of the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), said during a press conference.
The new system, developed under the guidance of the GAPP, stops individuals from playing online games for more than three hours by cutting the abilities of game characters. The new system cuts the ability level of a player's online game character by half after he or she has played for more than three consecutive hours. Once a player has played for more than five consecutive hours, the system cuts the ability level of that player's character to the lowest level allowed by the game.
The system also lowers the ability of players to find treasures or prizes available in an online game after they have played for more than three consecutive hours.
Furthermore, the system keeps track of hours of play. Individuals who immediately log back onto a game after three hours of consecutive play will continue to have the ability of their game character lowered by the system. Players must be logged off for a minimum of five hours before the system resets.
The GAPP has defined the playing of online games for less than three consecutive hours as "healthy," playing three to five consecutive hours as "tiring," and playing for more than five consecutive hours as "unhealthy."
In addition, seven of China's largest online gaming firms pledged Tuesday to "sacrifice short-term revenues" to create a "healthy" environment for young internet users. Companies signing onto the "Beijing Accord" were Shanda, NetEase, The9, Optisp, Kingsoft, SINA, and Sohu. These seven companies also pledged to deploy the system when development is completed.
Development of the system is scheduled for completion at the end of September 2005. Internal testing is scheduled to begin in October of 2005. After internal testing, trial operations of the system will be held using the games "The Legend of Mir II" and "The World of Legend" operated by Shanda, "Westward Journey Online" and "Fantasy Westward Journey Online" operated by NetEase, "World of Warcraft" and "MU" operated by The9, "JX Online" and "First Myth Online" operated by Kingsoft, "The Legend of Mir 3G" operated by Optisp, "Lineage II" operated by SINA, and "Blade Online" operated by Sohu.
Compulsory deployment of the new system is expected to begin for all massive multiplayer online role-playing games and casual games in China in late 2005 or early 2006.
It radical, but when you think they opened a clinic to help addicted gamers in china...