China slaps ratings on online games

China is tinkering around with its internet and computer laws – soon it will be necessary for the Chinese software industry to classify all of its online games, so as to protect children from violence and pornographic content.

At the moment, online games have no grades, and just about anyone in China can access them. According to the China Daily, 80 per cent of online gamers in China are under 25 years old, and “have become addicted”. Chinese online gamers make up for 20.2 per cent of internet users, with 13.8 million players, says the China Daily. The figure is expected to grow to 41.8 million by 2007.

In related news, screening technology is becoming increasingly popular with parents in certain areas of China – that is, a service that bars pornographic and “unsuitable” information for minors.

A China Telecom official told the People’s Daily that “the number of subscribers for the service has been rising fast.” The service is currently being offered on a trial basis in Chongqing, Zhejiang and Guangdong.Parents can sign up for the service by submitting an application online or calling up the China Telecom service hotline – the rest is done by them. It allows parents to overlook how long their kids spend online, playing games and chatting, and also lets them browse the content the kids see.

News source: TheInquirer


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