Saturday, January 21, 2006

Speak softly and carry a big clip.

I don't know how widespread this knowledge is, but it's news to me:

Gamers in China are facing new limits on how much time they can spend playing their favourite online game.

The thing that gets me is that gamers are paying a monthly subscription fee to play, and the government is limiting the time they're able to play during that month. If it really is the situation it's reported as being, I think it's pretty unjust:

After three hours, a character's level is cut in half and drop rates for items is decreased, and after five hours the character's level is reset to the minimum. The character will not return to normal until the player has signed out for five hours.

Now, take into account that higher level players would probably only want to take part in missions or quests or whatever that take a considerable amount of time. Realize the (although digital) social correspondence inherit in the game, the fantasy element of escapism, the obvious releases of stress. It's obscene that a government could regulate an expansive recreational activity to such a degree.


  1. Maybe China is trying to put an end to sloth-liness.

  2. Maybe the solution is (gasp!) don't create games that require incredible amounts of time to do things. The Chinese branch of Blizzard, etc. will probably end up doing this.

  3. Ahh, but plenty of thousands of people still play the original Counterstrike, nearly a decade after its release. And that only takes... maybe 10 minutes per skirmish? I don't know, but they're short rounds, and people keep playing that over, and over, and over again.

  4. Anonymous1:01 PM

    Public Service Announcement:

    Most Counterstrike rounds take less than 3 minutes... 5 minutes tops. It depends on the server's settings.