Ars Technica reports that online gamers will soon be required by law to use their real names when registering for online games.
According to the report, Zhang Yijun, director of the General Administration of Press and Publication's technology and digital publication department in China, stated that the Chinese government will be implementing a system of online game based registration which requires gamers to use their real name, and their government ID code. The "real-name system" is meant to monitor the use of online games, and to help prevent issues with addiction.
As detailed in 2006 by Kou Xiaowei, vice-direct of GAPP's A/V, Electronics, and Internet Administration department: A "real-name system" has three sub-systems: One, a registration system that discriminates according to ID information; Two, an inquiry system that is open to the community and can allow parents to check whether their children are playing games; Three, a confirmation system that has the cooperation of the PSB to confirm the registered information.
What was once an idea in 2006 is now becoming law, and thus far the Chinese government has shown that it takes both internet and game addiction very seriously. While time will tell exactly how much time spent by an individual playing MMO games is too much according to the government, game developers are already being held responsible in Chinese markets for ensuring that anti-addiction systems are in place. Four developers of MMO style games have already had their operations ceased for not complying with anti-addiction measures.
While China is ahead of the curve in working through law to reduce time spent in MMO games, debates have raged on in other countries in relation to the addictive properties of MMO titles. One has to wonder if it's only a matter of time before other countries begin to enforce similiar policies.
So if you plan to play WoW while in China, you may suddenly find yourself disconnected if the government there thinks you're raiding too much.--ED