China recommends 15 "clean" online games for minors

The Chinese Ministry of Culture (MOC) published 15 online games that are suitable for minors to play here on Friday as part of a recent drive to purify the online environment for minors.

In the past few years, online games have become the favorite pastime of young people. However, it is argued that such social problems as game addiction,juvenile delinquency and the promotion of brutality and perversion among minors by online violence and pornography have stemmed from an inadequately regulated internet.

In recent years an online games censorship bureau under the MOC has aroused experts to develop cyber games that are suitable for minors.

The 15 cyber games published by the MOC have been selected from about a hundred games recommended by the Chinese public since the beginning of this year.

The games include 11 domestic products like "Kriegspiel," "I-go," "Chinese Chess," "Gobang," "Magical Land" and "Digital Fairy," as well as four foreign products like "Poptang" and "Green Village." Most of the games are role playing games (RPG), recreation games and chess games.

According to the latest statistics released by the China National Internet Information Center, China registered a netizen population of 103 million, 71.1 percent of whom are teenagers.

Meanwhile, relevant statistics from the Institute of Psychology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences show that Beijing's net-addicted minors amount to 136,500.

With Chinese teenagers forming the largest Internet consumer group, many Chinese parents have rebuked online games as "e-heroin," owing to the increasing juvenile delinquency correlated with virtually incessant playing of such games.

On October 13, 2004, a high school boy was killed by his pal in Chengdu, southwestern China's Sichuan Province. It was reported that the high school manslayer, obsessed with online games, imitated virtual world violence when he stabbed his friend, who was his "foe" in a virtual game.

According to the MOC, the publishing of the suitable online games for minors aims to counteract juvenile game addiction and foster healthy adolescent development.

The MOC will lend an ear to opinions from people of all walks of life and will closely follow the operation of the 15 games so as to recommend more cyber games for teenagers in the future.

Source: Xinhua

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