Chinese gamers deplore new rules

Online backlash begins

Chinese gamers have been using online forums to vocalise their displeasure with new government rules targeting online titles of the massively-multiplayer variety. The authorities blame the ever-growing popularity of the genre for a variety of social problems, and recently brought in a law barring minors from playing MMO's containing any form of violence. The new rules don't stop there however, with the Chinese press revealing in recent days that time limits on MMO usage will also be enforced using in-game punishments. Gamers playing for over three hours will find their character automatically beginning to weaken. The authorities are currently working with game providers to introduce this measure, which could be in operation from October.

Protests from the gaming community were quick to begin, despite the strict control still wielded by the Chinese authorities, with thousands signing an online petition against the new rules. Of course, the use of handles online mean that those signing can't be traced, but the sheer weight of resentment is bound to catch the attention of those in charge. "These restrictions violate the rights of online game players," one gamer wrote. "Trying to prevent young players from being addicted is good, but this new system will be a total failure."

The companies creating the online games, and charged with enforcing the rules, have already admitted that the new legislation could impact their businesses. More soon.

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