This week, an esports-adjacent news piece out of Asia caught our eye. Apparently, Chinese officials are working on a law to end late night online gaming for teens and tweens. Will the proposed law effect would-be professional gamers?
The Perceived Problem: Too Much Late Night Tomfoolery!
According to reports, Chinese officials — and parents — are frustrated with about the amount of online gaming that goes on between midnight and 8:00 am. They’re terrified: Children are not getting proper amounts of sleep! Online gaming is akin to the 1880’s opium epidemic!
The Proposed Solution: Software Tracking Triggers?
How do Chinese officials plan to stop the insanity? By implementing an online gaming curfew. How? With software tracking. Chinese citizens must already use Government ID numbers to access certain websites. As such, it would be relatively painless to set up a monitoring mechanism, in conjunction with the existing identifying data, that would allow companies to kill connections of under-18 gamers after a certain hour. In fact, politicians want to fine companies for failing to do so.
China Favors Online Gaming Restrictions
China is known for its online gaming regulations. In fact, the country already has a law that strips in-game credits of users who play continuously for more than 180 minutes (3 hours).
With esports taking off — and becoming a lucrative career option — it’ll be interesting to see if Chinese officials make exceptions for professional gamers. In fact, if the country’s gamers want to stay competitive, they may want to start thinking about lobbying for such a clause.
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Kelly / Warner Law maintains an esports legal practice. We work with gamers and teams — from around the world — on everything from sponsorship negotiations to internal team arbitration. Have a question for one of our esports law aficionados? Give us a ring or shoot us a message.