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Mao is looking out for you

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  • vanevery0
    Quiet list. Not in the least of which because for the past year, I ve been much more deeply involved in issues of functional programming, compiler, design,
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 26, 2005
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      Quiet list. Not in the least of which because for the past year,
      I've been much more deeply involved in issues of functional
      programming, compiler, design, and game AI than in game design per
      se. That said, maybe I'll try to say something about the
      mathematical provability of high level strategies in Civ-like games,
      when I have something more tangible to offer. Right now I'm still

      Anyways, I was struck by the following article about China doing
      something proactive / dictatorial about online game addiction. It
      resonates with me because I have recently "dried out" as far as
      online interactions. My Civ-like game binging habits do continue
      sporadically, however. Ah well, 1 bad habit removed at least!

      Anyways my feeling is, controlling people's time sounds awful, but
      really it was my recent lack of internet connectivity that forced me
      to "dry out." For a time, all I had were public library terminals,
      with either exceedingly limited time budgets (1 hour/day at the
      public library) or restrictions on use (no e-mail longer than 10
      minutes at the community college.) Even now, I connect to the
      internet through a cell phone, and the minutes are free only after 9
      pm and on weekends. Thus I can't start my day by poisoning myself
      with a useless barrage of e-mail.

      I'm also curious how people will "game" the online RPGs to get around
      the time restrictions. Just keep 4 accounts? Or will people accept
      devaluation of their characters, and will this greatly change the
      game economy? Could this have the unintended consequence of making
      the game about something other than "hours and hours of tedious
      leveling up?"

      Brandon Van Every


      Chinese Online Publishers Sign 'Beijing Accord'
      Chinese government officials have unveiled new plans to discourage
      users from playing online games for more than three consecutive
      hours. Officials first announced plans to limit online use in August,
      when they also banned anyone from under the age of eighteen from
      playing online games where it was possible to kill other players.

      "This timing mechanism can prevent young people from becoming
      addicted to online games," Kou Xiaowei, deputy director of the
      Audiovisual and Internet Publication Department of the General
      Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), said during a press
      conference, in remarks reported by China's Interfax press agency.

      The new system, developed under the guidance of GAPP, cuts the
      ability level of a player's online game character by half after they
      have played for more than three consecutive hours. Once a player has
      played for more than five consecutive hours, the system cuts the
      ability level of that player's character to the lowest level allowed
      by the game. Players must be logged off for a minimum of five hours
      before the system resets.

      The system also lowers the ability of players to find treasures or
      prizes available in an online game after they have played for more
      than three consecutive hours, but it does not at any point actually
      prevent the user from playing the game or communicating with others
      online. Development of the system is scheduled for completion at the
      end of September 2005 and will become compulsory by at least spring

      Seven of China's largest online games publishers – Shanda, NetEase,
      The9, Optisp, Kingsoft, SINA and Sohu – have already agreed to the
      measures and signed up to an agreement nicknamed the "Beijing
      Accord", which will see them pledging to "sacrifice short-term
      revenues" to create a "healthy" environment for young Internet users.

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