• Adolescents play online games at an Internet bar in Huaibei, Anhui, China.

Adolescents play online games at an Internet bar in Huaibei, Anhui, China. (Photo : Getty Images)

A newly drafted law will give parents of gaming-addicted adolescents assurance that their children will not be spending their time playing compulsively into the wee hours of the night until daybreak.

The Cyberspace Administration of China published online protection guidelines for minors to curb what it calls as "excessive gaming."

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The guidelines stipulate that gaming companies should adopt a real-name registration system so that the administration will have a way to identify adolescents and disable their accounts from midnight to 8 a.m.

The gaming companies will also be required to develop software that will be able to limit the number of hours an adolescent user can play each day.

The software should also be able to block the access of certain violent or inappropriate game functions such as scenes that depict sex, suicide, and even alcohol/tobacco consumption.

CAC already solicited public feedback twice with regard to the rules on the drafted law. They also have already submitted this to the National People's Congress for approval.

Analysts say that the strictness on the personal identification-backed registration requirements will be a big factor on how the law plays out, and on how it will affect the gaming industry.

The gaming industry of China is on edge while it is waiting on when the real-name registration requirement will be effective.

Gu Haoyi, the vice president of Canwell Games, a Beijing-based gaming company, said: “Strictly enforcing ID-based registration for internet games would be a sharp jab to gaming companies, dampening players' enthusiasm."

Huge game developers Tencent Holdings Ltd., NetEase Inc., and Changyou.com Ltd. already have provided parental supervision mechanisms which will allow the guardians to monitor/disable the gaming account of their children through short message notifications.

This has proven to have a little effect on curbing gaming addiction though, as parents must extensively monitor their children's account activities for it to work.

Parents have mixed reactions to this, as some applauded the guidelines and some remain skeptical on how it will pan out.

Tencent and NetEase said that they will evaluate the guidelines should they come into effect and deal with ways on how to implement it.