Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Privacy Entertainment Games

Chinese Govt Limits Kids to 3hrs of Online Gaming 299

1MC writes "The Chinese govt is requiring game houses to modify MMOG's to restrict under 18 users to 3 hours "productive" gameplay per day. This "anti-addiction" software must be in place within 4 months, with games not compliant by July 15 liable to be shut down in China. Net9, Shanda and NetEase will be moving to comply with the government regulations. Users will have to register with their real names and Chinese identity card numbers to be allowed access to the games."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Chinese Govt Limits Kids to 3hrs of Online Gaming

Comments Filter:
  • I disagree (Score:5, Funny)

    by hahafaha ( 844574 ) * <> on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @10:38AM (#18675383)

    from the thank-god-i'm-over-18 dept.

    I'd rather say, thank-god-i'm-not-in-china!

    • As much as I find it amusing to see these MMORPG wastoids be voluntary drawn out of society (I do oppose the China's big brother methods, though), I am happy to see a force intervening.

      These sad souls need guidance, rehab, a life, something outside the warm cocoon of fat rolls and 3d dwarf landscapes.
      • by hahafaha ( 844574 ) * <> on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @11:22AM (#18676113)

        These sad souls need guidance, rehab, a life, something outside the warm cocoon of fat rolls and 3d dwarf landscapes.

        On the contrary, one ought to decide for himself if he wants to live in the ``cocoon of fat rolls and 3d dwarf landscapes.'' Through observation, it has been noticed that children of a certain age are unable to make this decision for themselves (though, I must say that 18 is far too old to be considered the time one becomes an adult. It should be 16, in my opinion), it is the duty of parents to make this decision. Never the government. I would much rather see my children spending 24 hours a day playing silly games than be regulated in those matters by the state.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 )
          What about children without parents? Should there be a government policy for foster children?

          I think the distinction between "government" and "family" is actually a little artificial. In some sense, the family is the smallest unit of government, to which certain tasks are delegated. This is definitely the theory of many mid-century social theorists, including Althusser.
          • by hoggoth ( 414195 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @11:41AM (#18676485) Journal
            > I think the distinction between "government" and "family" is actually a little artificial

            I think this is one of the most wrong things I've ever read.

            A parent has a direct compelling desire to protect and nurture his/her child. The parent has intimate knowledge and experience of that child's unique requirements. The parent has a genetic drive to insure the child's welfare. I can tell you as a parent that this drive is powerful and in the same realm as the drive for food and shelter. I feel the need to care for my child the same way I feel the need to eat.

            The "government" is not a single entity, but the resultant vector of millions of competing agendas and forces. As such it doesn't "care" for any child and it doesn't have knowledge of any child. It can only set broad policies that hopefully indirectly cause "good" but often cause "bad" in it's pursuit of particular agendas.

            Corporations and Governments are not people. They are not living entities, although we often treat them as such legally.
            To say the "government" can care for a child is simply incorrect. A teacher, a nanny, a social worker, a lawyer and a congressman may be affecting a child, but there is no such person as "the government".

            • Corporations and governments are as much "people" as family are. In fact, many corporations and governments are family, as in family businesses and monarchies. Or, to reverse it, "families" (in any given form) are as conceptual as governments are.

              I should say "the state" rather than "government," really, to be more precise. The family is the smallest unit of the state - it has expectations delegated to it and responsibilities assigned to it. That there is an emotional element is not at issue: many people in
              • Lemmy, as I mentioned in a different sub-thread, it is pointless to argue about the current state of events; let's, rather, discuss ideals.

                The government's incentive for children's well-being is entirely against the incentives of the parent, and, most importantly, of the child himself. The government needs money, which it gains from taxes. Taxes it gets from citizens, and to attract citizens, among other things, it needs a high educational rating. Thus, the government wants kids to do well on tests. The p

            • by harves ( 122617 )
              Please note that the grandparent said "family" not "parent". If you've been part of a large family, than you know that it often is "the resultant vector of [a number] of competing agendas and forces". The grandparent's point is that a family is simply the most local form of government, with the fewest number of vectors. You completely missed that point.

              I agree that the government cannot care for a child - individuals care for children. The exact same thing can be said of a family. Children don't fare well i
          • What about children without parents? Should there be a government policy for foster children?

            Those children should be adopted by families or sent to private orphanages.

            I think the distinction between "government" and "family" is actually a little artificial. In some sense, the family is the smallest unit of government, to which certain tasks are delegated.

            Whether or not the family is considered a unit of government is not very relevant in itself. It shouldn't be considered a unit of government, for the

            • You make the case for the family being the smallest organ of the state when you observe that it is the government's job to ensure that people can live productively in a society...

              Parents are expected - legally - to make sure their children receive an adequate education, are generally care for, are kept out of inappropriate places, etc. Parents who fail to do these things will lose their children and possibly face criminal charges.

              I'm not necessarily defending this policy on the part of China, mind you. Simp
              • Lemmy, you may have noticed that my arguments were not a reflection of the current state of events, but rather the ideal state of events.

                I do not think that parents should make education mandatory, especially in terms of attendance to schools. It may be the parent's responsibility that children are not beaten, deprived of food, etc. but any regulation beyond a minimum on testing is superfluous, in my opinion. If a test is repeatedly failed, then the parents should be fined, but not deprived of children. T

          • > I think the distinction between "government" and "family" is actually a little artificial.

            You made me puke a little bit.
      • by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @11:35AM (#18676399)

        These sad souls need guidance, rehab, a life, something outside the warm cocoon of fat rolls and 3d dwarf landscapes.

        Without commenting on your arrogant assertion that you know how someone else should live their live, this rises up a rather interesting point: why does the Chinese government want children to spend their time in reality rather than virtual reality ? After all, people playing WoW are far less likely to demand freedom or engage in other activities antithethical to the Chinese political system than people spending their time speaking with each other and perhaps coming up with dangerous ideas lie freedom from censorship. Warm cocoon makes people drowsy, cold reality shocks them wide awake. The former makes it far easier for the Chinese government to stay in power than the latter.

        Is this a case of a tyrant starting to believe his own lies about his benevolence, or does the Chinese government just have absolute confidence in their iron fist ?

        • by FooBarWidget ( 556006 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @01:26PM (#18678323)
          It's because of the culture. I don't know whether you've noticed, but Asian parents tend to put a lot of value in studying. They want their children to study hard and to go to a good university and to get a good job. The thought of your own child being addicted to games and neglecting school is the fear of every Chinese parent.

          You know, not every government decision has to be associated with suppression and regime.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by angryoaf ( 843315 )
      Human rights or not, I think this is a good thing. I've seen so many kid's lives fall apart because of MMOs because their parents just don't "get it" here in the USA. On the other hand this will force MMO makers to stop making games that require multi-hour grinding sessions to keep people interested and active. They might have to actually come up with *gasps* engaging and entertaining content that can be completed within a reasonable time frame.... for China anyway. The only MMO company with decent North
      • The kid is in the parent's custody, and thus they need to decide whether or not the kids should play games. If not, it is not the government's place to make the call.

        Trust me, regulation of the state is bad, always.

    • I'd rather say, thank-god-i'm-not-in-china!
      But I am in China! Admittedly I'm not staying, I'm over 18, and I'm spending far too much time on /. to get any gaming done...
  • I would imagine... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arkham6 ( 24514 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @10:40AM (#18675431)
    That kids getting caught faking identities to get around this would be dealt with harshly by the government.

    Parents (or kids?) going to jail because junior wanted to play WoW for more than 3 hours a day and faked ID?
  • China is repressive (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CogDissident ( 951207 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @10:41AM (#18675445)
    China is really repressive of their younger generation gaming online, primarilly because their dissident groups start up from these under 18 people being online. Stopping them from gaming as much will help disrupt bonds between the groups and cause slightly less anti-government behavior.

    Of course I think their system will collapse in a few years because of this anyway, but it is likely to stave off the inevitable for a little while at least.
    • by voice_of_all_reason ( 926702 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @10:53AM (#18675673)
      Working against the existence of dissident and anti-government groups usually leads to subversive and resistance groups in short order. Bite them in the ass indeed.
      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        The USA does this quite a bit, and we really don't have so many subversive groups, because the way that it is done makes their subversive groups look like fringe crazies.

        The thing china is doing wrong is that they are trying to stomp out subversive groups without addressing the underlying issues or at least swinging popular opinion against subversive groups. They need to cause their own terrorist attack (from XYZ subversive group in china) so that they can have public opinion behind the government again.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kestasjk ( 933987 )
      China isn't going to collapse.. For that to happen you need mass hate of the government, but at the moment China is in an economic boom. Zimbabwe has been under a dictatorship for years now, but only now that citizens are getting poorer are they actually starting to do something about it.

      The vast majority of people aren't going to risk their new improving lifestyles for the sake of extra hours gaming for the kids, or even free speech. I just hope a nut-job doesn't find his way into power.
      • You really should look up the industrial revolution, and how many, many governments suddenly found themselves forced with the decision to either change to a more open form of government, or face open revolt.

        Good working conditions actually give people inspiration to try to change their government, because now that they don't struggle to put food on the table every day they can spend time thinking about political issues.
        • by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @11:54AM (#18676721) Journal
          Emphasis mine:

          You really should look up the industrial revolution, and how many, many governments suddenly found themselves forced with the decision to either change to a more open form of government, or face open revolt.

          Good working conditions actually give people inspiration to try to change their government
          Since when did the industrial revolution create good working conditions? It did the opposite -- made small farming not tenable, drove workers to the cities where they, if they were lucky enough to have jobs, faced awful working conditions. Mass unemployment provided the time and incentive for overthrow of government.

          If you're looking at philosophical movements among the wealthy, sure. Such activities require financial independence. But as for mass political movements, economic dissatisfaction is almost always required.
    • this law + pipe in some Rage Against the Machine = Revolution []
  • Oh no! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HellYeahAutomaton ( 815542 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @10:43AM (#18675471)
    Looks like I'll have to look to India for my gold farming.

    Can't they just restrict their manufacturing to 3 hours a day too?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Why cut a cheap producer? A country that imports goods from China (or whichever other cheap producer you care to name) is cutting costs in the same way that a company will outsource work that it considers cheaper to be elsewhere. The options to the worker are to do a better job or work more cheaply. Demanding a high pay for a job that someone else will do more cheaply (and with a better quality ratio than the cost ratio, in most cases) doesn't make financial sense.

      Supply, demand. Attempting to get closer b
  • by beef curtains ( 792692 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @10:44AM (#18675493) that under-18 players could be restricted to certain servers, and the rest of us could play in peace, basking in the huge decrease in leetspeek, ninja looters, griefers & beggars.

    Seriously though, this whole "nanny state" the Chinese have going over there just cracks me up. I wonder if one can "bank" one's hours by not playing for a few days, in order to have enough time to join an end-game raid without worrying about one's big-brother software logging you off at an inopportune time.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Your name (beef curtains) proves that even those over 18 spout the crap we don't like to see in game. ;)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      While it is true that the majority of 13375p43kers, beggars and ninjas are youth, there are numerous adults who do such things as well. Hence why many "adult" guilds have the qualifier "mature".

      Having been intelligent and literate at 14, and having met people age 30 with the maturity of a toddler, I know there are exceptions on both sides. With the anonymity of the internet, it's best to judge someone by the content of their character and not by their supposed age.
    • You think that the under 18 crowd is the leetspeek, ninja looters, griefers & beggars group? You obviously haven't met these people in real life. Some of the worse have kids!!!

      Let alone the fact this is the typical selfish reaction from people who only think freedom works when someone else doesn't do something they don't like.

      no, the solution is for you to ignore the people who cause you grief in these games or just don't play them. Most MMORPGs have methods to ignore the very people you speak of. U
    • by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @12:48PM (#18677665) Journal
      Sadly, it's not that simple. We all like to pretend that surely only kids do this and that, and grown ups are all responsible and polite and whatnot. Dream on.

      Point in case, I actually know a mid-40's mid-level manager who speaks l33t in MMOs. Shocked the heck out of me to hear (ok, read) him online chatting in what I imagined to be typical loser-kid speak. The poor sap probably imagines that adopting that lingo makes him all cool and hip online.

      I know a guy in his 50's whose online life consists pretty much of being a die-hard ganker. That's how he gets his jollies. Ganking newbies.

      Also, let's just say there must be a reason why the stereotype about all the "horny naked teenage female" characters online is to assume it must be a fat 40-year-old guy, and not, say, that it must be a 14 year old guy. 'Nuff said.

      Conversely, I've been grouped with more than enough 14 year olds and even (according to himself) a 11 year old, that could actually play the game pretty darn well and functioned perfectly well in a group.

      Now I'm not saying that either covers 100% of the group. ("All generalizations are false, including this one.") Just that you can't take it for granted that kids = "leetspeek, ninja looters, griefers & beggars", and adults = cool.

      As for the nanny-state part, actually I hope that it's _not_ possible to bank hours. The chinese have my sympathy, but from a selfish bastard point of view: maybe having to deal with the chinese market will finally hammer it into everyone's head that 40-man 8-hour raids are _not_ fun. If it's not possible to do it in 3 hours, including getting the group, that should be anyone's hint that it's probably not that much fun. If you end up having some sort of _duty_ to the guild to be there daily at hour X, because 39 others depend on you, it's not fun. Time sinks are ok only when done in moderation, not when you need to quit your job or give up sleep to even be able to join.

      Again, I'm aware that it's a very selfish and nasty thing to say, cheering at someone else's problems. So don't take it too seriously. But, still, if it's happening anyway, it might as well give some designers some clue.
  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @10:46AM (#18675519)
    How about it starts by improving the country's dismal human rights record? I would be a lot less worried about my kid playing too much WoW than I would be about the possibility that he could be thrown in prison for the rest of his life because he made a speech at his school bad-mouthing the government.
  • Will their be a timed meter for juvenile viewing of the local Chinese television coverage of that huge propoganda magnet when the time comes? Yes, yes, twiddling your thumbs on a game console for three hours isn't the same as watching large, barbarian Scandinavians cream your countrymen in the shotput... because at least the game console gives your thumbs some exercise.
    • by tnk1 ( 899206 )
      No, they just force them to watch the gymnastics and ping-pong events.

  • by way2trivial ( 601132 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @10:48AM (#18675571) Homepage Journal
    FTFA: "Under the system, known as the "anti-online game addiction system", the first 3 hours of play for each day is considered "healthy", during which players will be awarded full points in the virtual world. The next 2 hours will yield only half the normal points and there will be no points after 5 hours. "
  • Each time I read about China and their antics in the media, I increasingly dislike the country. I know we're not entirely free here in the western world, but at least we can make our own mistakes.

    Nanny states are bullshit, just come visit the UK [] in the not to distant future and you'll see what I mean (in fact, regardless of the nature of the previous link, we're already a nanny state).
    • China has much bigger issues [] than being a "nanny state".
    • and then go a sue any and everybody that we feel is responsible because even though we did it with full knowlage of the consiquences it can't possibly be our fault.
  • by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @10:57AM (#18675741)
    Users will have to register with their real names and Chinese identity card numbers to be allowed access to the games.

    THAT is the real reason. Register for this...soon register for ALL internet use.
    "We want to know who you are and where you go."
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It is so sad that it has to be a country like China that finally gets it right.

    MMO-s are addictive, they are designed to be addictive, not as a controlled substance but as a physiological trick of continuous reinforcement. Very soon people do not have fun in these game, rather they can't actually quit, they need to play to feel good again and regular life seems devoid of this feel good ingredient.

    Alas I know too well what it is like to be addicted to an MMO. And I consider myself lucky to still have a j

    • You = Fission mailed.
    • by King_TJ ( 85913 )
      I disagree. China did not "get it right" with these new restrictions, at all! (Let's pretend, for a moment, that their motives behind limiting gameplay have NOTHING to do controlling youth who want a "secret place" to communicate freely and disagree with government.)

      Even IF their motives were purely "in the best interests of the kids" (yeah, right!), since when is it government's job to interfere in this way? MMOs *are* addictive. No argument from me there! That's one big reason I'm divorced. My ex-wi
    • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @11:32AM (#18676349) Journal
      Ok, I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, but...

      There was a time - back when I was actively playing a MMORPG (Final Fantasy XI) that I would have agreed with the idea that MMORPGs are addictive. However, my experiences over the last year or so have made me far less certain.

      I started playing FFXI in November 03, importing a copy from the US when it launched there. For the first couple of months, it was just a curiousity... something I logged into once in a while and ran around a bit. Then somebody else I knew in real life started playing. And then another. The amount of time I was putting into the game increased considerably, to the point where it was taking up well over 50% of my non-work time (I have what's essentially a 9-5 office-based job). I was going out less, particularly at the weekends, playing other games less and watching fewer movies (never complain about MMORPG monthly fees - you wouldn't believe how much money they save you). About the only other past-time that didn't suffer was reading.

      I got heavily into the game. I did the whole end-game thing, with all the grief and drama that went with it. I slogged through the Chains of Promathia expansion, which was exhausting, frustrating, and infuriating, but also responsible for some of the biggest adrenelin rushes I've ever had from gaming.

      At this point, if the addiction analogy were really true, the next stage of the story should write itself; losing contact with real life friends and family, locking myself away in a darkened room, losing my job, dying alone in poverty etc. Except... it didn't. Some time last summer, I noticed that I just didn't quite care about the game as much as I had in the past. Logging in felt more like a chore, the game itself rarely did much for me and I was losing interest in the community. Over the next few months, my play time dwindled rapidly. By Christmas, I was only logging in for a couple of hours a week for scheduled Limbus runs. By February, even that had stopped.

      There was no dramatic intervention. No moment when I realised I needed to go cold-turkey. In fact, I never did go cold turkey. I've still got the game installed and still pay $15 a month for my account. I just don't log into it, because I can't be bothered. It's not that I've moved onto another MMORPG. I have a WoW account, which I do log into occasionally, but I just don't find that game fun enough to grip me for long periods. Rather, I've more or less gone back to using my free time to do the things I did before FFXI came along. I'm not alone in this... the real life friends who got into FFXI shortly after I did followed a similar trajectory.

      Now, compare that to how a genuine addiction works. I've known lots of smokers. I've also known a guy who started smoking cannabis at 15 and who was dead of a heroin overdose at 23. I've never known a smoker just give up the habit because they found cigarettes just didn't do much for them any more. From what I've seen (and I've never smoked), giving up smoking is painful (emotionally and perhaps even physically) and requires a good chunk of will-power. When drug users find that their current drug of choice doesn't do much for them any more, the response seems to be to move onto something harder.

      MMORPGs have the effect on people they do for a number of reasons - interesting game worlds, clear goals of the kind that people lack in their real lives (this one is important), the ability to act out fantasies, a sense of worth from standing in a virtual community and so on. However, I can no longer believe that genuine addiction is one of the factors at work in most cases.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I wonder if there are technical terms separate short and long term addictions.

        People call MMORPGs an addiction because up until the point where you burn out they exhibit all the symptoms of it. Your social life does suffer, other games are left unplayed in favor of the MMO, chores are put off (well, this happens anyway) etc. The crucial difference, insightfully noted by you, is that instead of finding something harder or being perpetually enslaved there is a sudden burn out and the "addiction" ends.

        I'd stil
    • It is so sad that it has to be a country like China that finally gets it right.

      Finally, a response that I can agree with. Yes, this law may seem silly to some, but it makes perfect sense. Two things:

      1. Every country limits the activities of minors. The assumption is that minors are at risk, compared to adults, and need extra protection. The USA doesn't let minors buy alcohol - til they are 21, even. Sex is also limited (to 16/18/whatever, depending on the location). You can argue with the specifics, b
  • This is good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jalwin ( 1082419 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @11:04AM (#18675837)
    Due to the prevalence of these cafes and the ungodly amount of time younger kids WASTE here, hopefully these laws will encourage these kids to do other more productive things in their free time. Kids are not known to be responsible, especially on items good for their own welfare. I'm not saying a little wasted time is a bad thing, but spending so much time on these type of games can have a serious negative impact on the social life of the kids and their school grades. I know several people who have dropped out of college or have trouble holding jobs due to these addictions. Granted, I'm sure some kids will find ways to get around this (like alternate between cafes). But it is the hassle of doing so that will hopefully encourage kids to limit themselves.
  • Not so bad... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hikaru79 ( 832891 )
    Perhaps I'm the only one (and thus I will be modded into oblivion) but I don't think this is so bad. We are, after all, talking about minors here. As a poster above mentioned, America (lots of countries, actually) doesn't allow drinking under the age of 21; why is this? Because minors are not capable of responsibly handling something like alcohol. Well, guess what: most minors aren't capable of responsibly handling gaming either if they feel the need to do it in a public venue for more than THREE FREAKING
    • by Sefert ( 723060 )
      3 hours is almost 25% of your waking time? You spend less than 12 hours a day awake? That would indeed be a cause for concern!
    • by kebes ( 861706 )
      I mostly agree with your comment, and hope it gets modded-up. However:

      Notice that this does not restrict adults, and it does not constrict what anyone (including minors) do in the privacy of their own home.

      That's where you are very, very wrong. It may not restrict adult's gameplay (for now), but the only way to enforce these rules is, as mentioned, using "registration" and "ID cards" and things like that. This type of tracking most definately imposes a restriction on minors and adults alike, and very
  • The government just wants to bust the "geek" wrap those Asian kids get at school...

    Sorry. I was channeling Don Imus.
  • by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @11:12AM (#18675953) Homepage Journal
    The 24x7 Chinese Communist Party Youth League meetings in popular role-playing games have been rescheduled to 1700-2000 hours, effective August 1.

    Unchanged is the mandatory attendance policy.
  • If only parents would limit their children's TV watching. In China, the USA, anywhere. Videogames are a good deal better (or at least less deleterious) for your brain than TV, I'd wager. Videogames may not make you smarter, but they don't actively make you know less than you did before, do they?
  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @11:23AM (#18676135) Homepage Journal
    and wake up now -

    if you BAR kids from doing something they REALLY like and WANT to do in their development stages, and instead FORCE them to do whatever society/you think right and should be done, what you do is going to come back to you as payback when kids reach adulthood and start to exhibit personality/psychological deviations.

    ANYTHING that is suppressed gets bigger and strikes back at a later date.

    this same trend was here in turkey aroun 15-20 years ago, all kids were put to the "career race", which was something that was seen as both good for the kids, and for the society. (hey, you make the kid race for ranking at the top in the national university entrance exams, which guarantees them a good education and then later a respectable, high salary job, what can be wrong with that)

    and 15 years later now, majority of those generations are experiencing personality quirks, antisocial behaviour, a degree of childish selfishness, (which leads to MANY marriages to breaking up), strike-back from stress that is accrued in 15 years of organizational education/racing, aimlessness in life and valueing/judging everything on merits of career/power/monetary values and not able to appreciate real values like love, compassion, friendship, family and so on. hell, there are so many stuff that i dont know if i can stop once i start.

    you, chinese are total morons for approving that, or forcing your kids to forfeit their present for their future, a future which never comes and constant sacrifice continues while trying to reach it.

    time spent NEVER comes back. NEVER EVER. at deathbed what people think are what they HAVE done, not what they MEANT to do.
  • The Chinese government is playing a dangerous game imposing more and more restrictions on a recreational past time enjoyed by an apparently large segment of the population. Bread and circuses are essential for an authoritarian regime to maintain power. And while it is probably easy for Chinese citizens to shrug off the lack of political freedom, it isn't so easy to ignore government interference in how one makes money (bread), or how one has fun (circuses). Given the large population of "spoiled", mostly ma
  • my mom only gave me one hour of computer/video gaming when I was a kid.

    She truely was totalitarian!
  • Besides the very obvious argument that the government shouldn't have the right to decide what's best for you, what about people who can't enjoy going outside? Some people are only really alive in virtual reality. This is just another way of crippling them.

    I guess they'll just have to spend more money so they can take up multiple MMORPGs.

    Rhetorical question one: Is the government going to reimburse players for the 11 hours (counting a normal sleep cycle) they have paid for but now cannot use?


  • Parental control > government control > no control.

    In the absence of parents that give a damn, it's nice that someone is telling the kids to do their homework. But then again, I'm a responsible parent that already limits my children's time when they're unable to manage it themselves.
  • by Pakaran2 ( 138209 ) <> on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @12:23PM (#18677209)
    Saying the big human rights problem with China is their restriction of online gaming is like saying the problem with Bob Jones University is not supporting Linux on the network. []
  • Other "Features"? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FuryG3 ( 113706 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2007 @01:10PM (#18678025)
    I wonder what other features this software has. Are these Game-Houses typically internet cafes? If so are these computers also used for web browsing?

    Sure sure, I know China's already got the tap on these places. The sites these users visit (that aren't blocked), are probably logged for easy reviewing access. But it sure would be nice to tie browsing (and game-playing) history to one person, regardless as to what computer he sits at or cafe's he visits.

    Monitoring in-game chat would also be a "nice" feature.


Bell Labs Unix -- Reach out and grep someone.