How to bypass the rules to play Chinese children's games

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How to bypass the rules to play Chinese children's games

To comfortably play the games they like, Chinese children buy fake information or secretly scan their parents' faces while they are sleeping to unlock them.

Gaming rules for teens in China are among the most stringent in the world. The government has long stated protecting minors from game addiction by requiring manufacturing companies to limit the playing time of people under 18. Specifically, every day, minors can play only up to 90 minutes. On vacation, the time is increased to three hours.

However, this does not prevent children from playing video games and spending money on games. The more tightened the measures, the younger the gamers are "creative" in how to cope.

"Due to technical limitations, there are always loopholes for minors to take advantage of entering fake information, buying adult accounts or using parental accounts," said Daniel Ahmad, an analyst at gaming market research firm Niko Partners said.

China has been issuing gaming rules since 2007, but younger gamers are still trying to circumvent the rules. Photo: Reuters.

China requires electronic players to register their accounts with their real names. To serve the needs of minors, the industry that provides fake information for adults is born. Buying and selling this information is so easy that you just need to go to ecommerce platforms like Taobao or Xianyu. Those who do not manipulate themselves, they can go to fully-fledged electronics stores for a currency ($ 0.14) an hour.

For many games, the rules are even simpler. Last year, the Chinese Consumer Association found that 17 of the 50 most popular titles were vulnerable to a fake account login.

The Covid-19 pandemic made this situation more serious. Many parents also find that their children have saved money to play games. According to Xinhua, the blockade, the number of complaints about spending money on games sent to a consumer protection council in Shenzhen, increased 360% over the same period last year. Of these, 14% said their children spent more than 10,000 yuan (1,400 USD).

In order to control players, the two giants in the game industry, Tencent and NetEase, have taken stronger measures, for example comparing account information with police data. Some companies give parents the right to log their children out of the game whenever they want. Tencent also uses high-tech technologies such as facial recognition and artificial intelligence to ensure children comply with the gaming rules.

In response, young gamers thought of a way to secretly register for an account with their mother's name, then wait for their mother to sleep to scan their face. Another tip is to have an adult pretend to be a parent and call the customer service center, saying there's no need to limit playtime. There are also cases where children pretend to voice their grandparents to contact the game company.

Currently, companies like Tencent continue to research and develop anti-gaming addiction system. "Minors will always look for loopholes to circumvent the law. But when anti-gaming addiction is more sophisticated, it will become difficult," Ah Ahmad said.

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