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Online Gamers in China must Register with Real Names

27 January 2009 No Comment
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Soon, all online gamers in China must register with real names rather than made up game alias. This is a mandatory program that will be implemented for anti gaming addiction monitoring purposes.

Is online gaming addictive? Numerous studies and tests seem to support this case as massive online multiplayer games are becoming more popular both for children, teens and adults alike. Not only are more people playing, but many are spending countless waking hours building up their online characters.

Game addiction has become a serious problem all over the world. The Chinese government has concluded that this problem has become severe enough that they will soon require those playing massive multiplayer online (MMO) role-playing games must register with their real names when creating new accounts. Users will registers their names along with government issued ID cards. Zhang Yijun, the director of General Administration of Press and Publication’s technology and digital publication department, said personal information would become a requirement for those register for online games.

This new process will not affect game play as it is only to be used to monitor for potential addiction risks. To be clear, this requires users to simply REGISTER with real names not necessarily be identified by their real names in the game itself. Sadly, when this idea first came into public, it was the adults that pushed back because though they liked the idea of control, they didn’t want to be under the same system as youths.

The system will have an inquiry system that is open to the community and allows parents to check on their children game playing time.

Countries such as China, Korea, and Japan all have long histories and horror stories in regards to gaming addictions. China has already taken initiative on several fronts. Several Chinese universities, such as Nanjing University, Shanghai Jiaotong University and Zhejiang University, have implemented rules banning freshmen from bringing computers to campuses due to what is seen as a lack of control and its adverse effects on their studies. Other schools who do not outright ban computers, discourage students from bringing computers. Often these rules are implemented across the board regardless of major even if it is in the computer related field. China has also already classified internet use as a medical disorder

This system is in line with other Chinese government initiatives in development which tracks names with blog comments and other online sharing mediums.

  • Do you think this is a good move? Should others follow suit?
  • Is this invasion into privacy or is it reasonable considering it is just registrations?
  • Do you think this will help with curbing gaming addiction?
  • What else can be done?

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