China's Kids To Use 'Bandit' Video Games To Evade Ban: Analyst
“Chinese children will soon be restricted from playing video games more than three hours weekly, the country’s regulators said Monday. National playtime, the Communist Party kids you not, is scheduled for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. local time,” analyst Robert Hackett stressed in an art5icle for Fortune’s Data Sheet.
Photo Insert: China's children are finding creative ways to outfox authorities to bypass gaming regulations.
“How will China cope with the new rules? In the past, enterprising, Chinese hackers created do-it-yourself consumer electronics that cheaply imitated well-known brands’ products. The market’s reputation for copycatting led people to describe the knockoffs as shanzai, or “mountain stronghold”— a millennia-old term that harkens back to the days of rebel bandits marauding on the outskirts of the empire. The term, once perceived as an insult, has since found new life as a celebration of grassroots ingenuity,” Hackett revealed.
China’s anti-gaming decree could spur a proliferation of shanzai gaming in the years ahead. This could take the form of children using false account information, like family members’, parents’, and friends’ logins, to keep up their game-playing habits.
People using false identities can thwart facial recognition requirements—which Tencent put in place this summer to comply with the earlier restrictions for minors—with help from legitimate account holders who offer up their biometrics.
Perhaps that’s why state media outlets noted that parents and teachers would be key in helping to enforce the new rules.
The other way kids can route around the prohibition is by turning to offline gaming alternatives. People can presumably circumvent the government’s so-called “anti-addiction” system by playing games that don’t require an Internet connection.
Maybe we’ll see more unplugged, single-player digital game options take off in the years ahead.