China Relaxes Game Fatigue Restrictions

Video Game Law Blog

January 24, 2006

In August 2005, 7 of China's largest online video game companies signed an agreement with China's General Administration of Press& Publication (GAPP) office to implement in-game restrictions to prevent "game fatigue," after several occasions where gamers collapsed with exhaustion (and in one case, died) during marathon gaming sessions. The "Beijing Accord" introduced in-game penalties in online multiplayer games that cut a characters' abilities in half after three hours of gaming, and further reduced their capabilities after five hours of playing.  Characters were only returned to full capabilities after 5 hours of being logged out.  The program was launched on a trial basis in October and GAPP has announced this week that as of February 1st, 2006 the system will only be applied to gamers under the age of 18.  Privacy concerns for gamers still remain as they will be required to register their names and ages in order to prove the restrictions shouldn't be applied to them.  This announcement comes amid reports that 25.3 million paying online gamers were registered in China by the end of 2005.

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