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NetEase imposes 'curfew' on underage mobile gamers

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-01-17 21:52

GUANGZHOU -- NetEase Games is for the first time launching an anti-addiction system for underage mobile gamers, including an 11-hour "curfew," in a bid to create a greener and more positive gaming environment for children's healthy growth.

The leading Chinese gaming developer and publisher said Wednesday it will apply the system to the first batch of its 15 popular mobile game titles, including Fantasy Westward Journey, Westward Journey, Knives Out and Onmyoji, starting this month.

The move came as an increasing number of underage students are becoming addicted to mobile games in the smartphone era, prompting repeated calls for more efforts to curtail the addiction.

Parents are worried that such addictions could affect their children's health and academic performance, thus urging gaming companies to take up their social responsibility to help limit game-playing time and reduce the negative effects.

NetEase Games said it was imposing a "curfew" from 9:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m., banning underage users from logging in during the period.

The anti-addiction system limits the mobile gamers at or under age 12 to one hour Monday through Friday and two hours on Saturdays and Sundays.

Those between the ages of 13 and 18 are permitted to play up to two hours Monday through Friday and three hours on Saturdays and Sundays.

The company also updated a platform named NetEase Parenting Care, allowing parents to put their underage children under supervision in different ways including multi-account supervision and the ability to inquire about their child's playing-time and in-app purchases.

Parents can also apply to the platform to ban their children from playing the games.

NetEase Games is also improving its real-name registration system. Any unregistered users are restricted to playing up to two hours on each of its three games, and they are forbidden from in-app purchases.

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