Limiting play time

Interesting story from China. Tencent Holdings – seemingly China’s biggest gaming and social media business measured by revenues- runs a very popular multi-player game called “Honour Kings”. It is said it now has over 200 million users, mostly in China, although it has recently been launched in Europe under the name Strike of Kings. As I understand it the typical device on which the game is played is a handheld or mobile of some sort.

Responding to complaints from parents and teachers in China about its “addictive” nature, apparently, anyone registered as being under 12 years of age will only be able to play for up to one hour per day. Between 12 and 18 the limit is two hours. Under 12s will not be able to log on to play after 9.00.p.m. local time.

This story obviously prompts lots of questions but I am certain many will see it as an example of exactly the kind of self-limiting, responsible behaviour we might have hoped a number of businesses in the West would embrace not just in respect of games but also other commercial activity involving children. Parental supervision of or engagement with their children’s portable devices can be exceptionally difficult at the best of times and since that is the preferred medium of most youngsters these days it certainly makes you think.

About John Carr

John Carr is one of the world's leading authorities on children's and young people's use of digital technologies. He is Senior Technical Adviser to Bangkok-based global NGO ECPAT International and is Secretary of the UK's Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety. John is now or has formerly been an Adviser to the Council of Europe, the UN (ITU), the EU and UNICEF. John has advised many of the world's largest technology companies on online child safety. John's skill as a writer has also been widely recognised.
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