China’s First Law on Online Games to Take Effect

China’s Ministry of Culture has issued new rules [CN] regulating online gaming. From Xinhua:

China’s first regulation governing the booming market of on-line games will take effect on Sunday, which is expected to protect children from unwholesome content and Internet addiction.

The regulation, issued by the Ministry of Culture on June 22, states that on-line games targeting minors must be free of content that lead to the imitation of behavior that violates social morals and the law.

It also requires gaming companies to develop techniques that limit the gaming time of minors in order to prevent addiction. But the regulation did not specify the techniques and the permissible gaming time.

The issue drew national attention last year following a series of deaths at boot camps for Internet addicted youth.

Further, web players will now have to register using their real names before playing games online, according to the regulation.