Around four million Chinese youths are addicted to the Internet and “unhealthy” online games, according to claims made by the state controlled Beijing Times.
The newspaper report suggests that “Internet-addicted teenagers” account for around 10 percent of China’s total Web users under the age of 18. According to an AFP report
of the story, the claims were made by Li Jianguo, a vice chairman of the standing committee of the National People's Congress.
The committee is calling for stricter monitoring of games that have illegal or inappropriate content. The committee’s definition of “unhealthy” includes extreme violence, games with sexual content and those in which Chinese nationals are featured as the enemy.
The Chinese government has already attempted to tighten control of content
in online games, requiring operators to submit monthly monitoring reports on standards, particularly in regards to foreign-developed games which may make reference to touchy subjects such as Taiwan or Tibet.
In addition to this, publishers have been forced to include technology which reveals a user’s real name and identification number, as well as a plan for technology that automatically logs players off after a set number of hours of continuous play.