China’s publishing regulator should control the number of new online video games and take measures to limit the amount of time young people spend playing games, according to a notice issued by the Ministry of Education on Thursday.
The directive was included in a document published on the website of the education ministry outlining how China would respond to worsening rates of myopia, or near-sightedness, among young people.
The General Administration of Press and Publications will “implement controls on the total number of online video games, control the number of new video games operated online, explore an age-appropriate reminder system in line with China’s national conditions, and take measures to limit the amount of time minors” play games, the document said.
It blamed high levels of short-sightedness on a heavy study load, the spread of mobile phones and other electronic devices, and a lack of outdoor activities and exercise.
China has the world’s largest video game market. The country’s game publishing approval process has been in the spotlight recently as China’s largest game operator, Tencent, saw a rare earnings decline as one of its games was caught up in a approvals freeze.
The document also called on parents to limit the amount of time their children spend using mobile phones and other electronic devices, and recommended children spend over an hour outdoors every day.