Chinese government punishes gamers for long online gaming sessions

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

China has started to crack down on long online gaming session by taking away experience and weapons from characters. Eleven online games are affected, including the popular World of Warcraft from Blizzard Entertainment based in Irvine California. The government wants players to take at least a two-hour break between sessions and says this will prevent gaming addiction.

Players who continue after three hours will lose experience points and weapons from their characters. The harshest penalty is for people who play beyond five hours - They will cut the character's level to the lowest possible. It's unknown whether these penalties are permanent.

For World of Warcraft the three hour time limit may be bearable for lower-level characters, but as players advance, quests become harder and longer. Twenty minutes can be spent just getting to the particular area or dungeon. In addition, late game quests often require large parties that can take time to assemble.