China's Parental Watch Project underway

17:18, March 01, 2011      

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In today's early morning, China's online games industry started full operation of the Parental Watch Project, the supervising mechanism specifically tailored to allow parents to better monitor their children's balance between real life and online gaming time.

The statistics from major online games companies show that parents rarely used the supervision mechanism during the past year.

It was announced by several national administrative departments and national organizations earlier this year that the "Parental Control Project" was to start from March 1.

Items on the watch list include time length limitation of daily/weekly gaming, time period limitation of gaming and forbidden games. Parents are able to consult the hotlines offered on service page to request the account limit measures and a follow-up supervision in order to get feedback of the gaming activities.

The mechanism started trials on Feb. 5 last year. Backbone corporations, such as Tencent and 163.com, were the pilot participants.

Throughout the trial year, there were hot debates in public. However, the Internet statistics show another reality — parents rarely consulted the firms for supervision.

Numbers from sina.com indicates two categories of the parents service requests: user guide consultation service and supervision inquiry verification service. The latter one refers to the service that provides the authority/verification to inspect the children's game accounts.

For some certain company, there were only 250 cases related for last year. And only single-digit calls to request a stop the game accounts.

What caused the low parents' participation rate is the complexity of the application procedure.

Take the supervision inquiry verification as an example. Parents need to provide the eligible identification, the related information of the child's game, the child's ID information, as well as finish the supervision application forms, the guarantee form, the signed authorization form and the relationship certification documents.

Experts see the weaknesses of mechanism running currently and call for the betterment of the policies and inspection technologies.

By Li Yancheng, People's Daily Online

(Editor:李艳程)

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