Internet regulators are considering introducing a rating system
for online games in a bid to protect youngsters from pornographic
and violent images and becoming addicted to gaming, a senior
cultural official told China Daily in an exclusive
Liu Qiang, director of the Internet culture office under the
Ministry of Culture (MOC) said: "The content of some online games,
which is considered harmful to children and teenagers, might be
okay for adults, so we have to build a system of standards."
The MOC currently uses two methods to stop pornography and
excessive violence in computer games: By going through production
copies of the games with developers before they are released to the
market, and by granting approvals to foreign games only if they are
considered proper to be imported.
"But online games are special: They are so interactive and are
therefore always developing, which makes it difficult to regulate
them," Liu said.
His comments were made in response to reports from around China
that violence in online games triggers teenage delinquency, during
a forum on Internet culture yesterday.
The forum was hosted by the MOC and Beijing University of Posts
Peng Gongmin, a senior police officer in Northwest China's
Shaanxi Province, told the press last month that Internet games
were responsible for nearly one-third of all cases involving school
students that were dealt with by police in the province last
"The number of cases triggered by Internet games has been on the
rise for four or five years," Peng said.
"Games make the kids cruel and make them regard lives as
'Online mafia gangs'
Also last year, Beijing police cracked a dozen "online mafia
gangs", after members of two of them, all teenagers, stabbed each
other in the real world for rare "weapons" used in a popular online
Shen Qiyun, a professor at Beijing Normal University, said at
the forum that China has a higher percentage of child and teenage
netizens than any other country in the world.
Cao Shumin, vice-president of the telecommunications research
institute under the Ministry of Information Industry said at
yesterday's forum that latest figures show China has 140 million
Internet users, 3 million more than it had at the beginning of the
year, and the second highest of any country in the world.
A report published in December by the Central Committee of the
Communist Youth League of China showed that 15 percent of netizens
were under 18.
(China Daily May 24, 2007)