Listen: Geoff Quattromani explains the video game ban for children to Sam Robinson on Hope Breakfast
China is restricting the amount of video game play for those under the age of 18, but should something similar be introduced in Australia?
Gaming addiction is a real issue. In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) opted to recognise gaming addiction as an official disease. And just last week, China revealed a ban playing video games through the week for those under the age of 18, except for a common hour on Fridays and weekends.
For more information, and to see whether this is something Australia should be introducing, Hope Breakfast spoke to tech expert Geoff Quattromani from the Technology Uncorked podcast.
“Essentially it’s to try and curb the amount of time that people under the age of 18 are spending doing online gaming,” Geoff said.
“One of the statistics that we saw is that people under the age of 18 actually spend more time watching people do online gaming than they do watching live sport. The appeal of gaming has grown in China so much that the government has decided to step in and limit their usage.”
The restrictions mean that gaming can be done on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights between 8pm and 9pm.
But, how is something like this policed?
“In China they have to have identities to use online. If you’re going to be gaming, you need to have effectively a profile with your age verification. That’s being verified at a government level,” Geoff said.
“Your parents would have their own level of access, being over 18, they can game as much as they want. I think that’s one of the ways children will try and circumvent the rules here: they will use their parents’ account.”
To some parents here in Australia, controlling gaming time might be appealing and Geoff said it is already possible.
“Whether it’s an XBox, a PlayStation, or even a home computer, parental controls is something that’s available on all of them,” he said.
“One thing I would suggest to parents is let your kids have their own log on because then you can set them up as your child.
“If you identify your account as the parent, in the system, you can enable parental controls such as usage for times, dates, to actually use the computer, or even areas on it.”
Similarly, this can be done with smartphones, where you can set certain apps to be opened at particular times.
“Parents need to take control of those devices in their own way, and set their own rules. But also have the conversation with their kids,” Geoff said.
Listen to the full chat on gaming addiction and regulation in the player above.