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Chinese Gamers Circumvent Anti-Obsession Measures

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the in-autocratic-china-the-hand-wrings-you dept.

176

Turtlewind writes "A survey by iResearch China shows that the Chinese Government's "anti obsession" measures, reported on Slashdot last year, are being bypassed by MMORPG gamers. While the controls - which force operators of popular games such as World of Warcraft to impose penalties on players who play for more than three to five hours a day - were welcomed by almost half of Chinese gamers, a core of around 14% of players admitted to registering multiple accounts to get around the restrictions. Meanwhile, the government seems to be taking a different approach to the problem of gaming addiction, planning a campaign over the upcoming summer vacation to increase enforcement of laws banning minors from internet cafes."

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Not surprising. (4, Insightful)

Khaed (544779) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627179)

People get addicted to games. It shouldn't be surprising when the really addicted get around the filters. I imagine it was top priority for a lot of them.

But, really, more than 5 hours a day? Doesn't your ass get numb?

two words (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15627191)

office employee?

Re:two words (3, Informative)

Khaed (544779) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627215)

I assume office employees get up and move around more often than someone engaged in a real time video game. I can save a document or source code and get coffee. I don't know how many MMO games people can pause at any point (I know Starcraft gives each player 3 time outs), and I don't know how many people would appreciate their party members randomly vanishing in mid-battle.

I'm not saying it's impossible, just not likely. If you're addicted enough to get more than one account, chances are, you sit there the entire time.

Or take the laptop with wifi into the bathroom with you...

Re:two words (3, Funny)

Volanin (935080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627280)

I totally agree with what you say... ...but doesn't it intrigue you that, after 8 hours of office work, you usually end the day feeling like shit. And after the same 8 hours of lan partying with friends, you usually leave feeling renewed?

Just my two cents!

Re:two words (4, Funny)

Khaed (544779) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627307)

I always figured that's why it was called "work."

Re:two words (4, Informative)

dejaffa (12279) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627454)

Exactly. We choose to play.

"Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. " -- Mark Twain

Re:two words (1)

Alexandra Erenhart (880036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627341)

Maybe not renewed, but after spending lots of time on raiding a long end-game instance with your guildies, seeing that some of them (even you) got good items, and everybody had fun, you feel rewarded. Not many can say that after 8 hours of work. And that makes being tired and sleepy worthy of. Otherwise nobody would ever play more than 1 or 2 hours.

Re:two words (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627461)

You work for free?

I guess because people don't get paid at the end of every shift they work, they don't see that their reward is their paycheck.

Re:two words (1)

Alexandra Erenhart (880036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627482)

Face it. Paycheck usually doesn't represent what you work for. Sometimes (lucky) is more than what you deserve, but usually is the other way around.

Re:two words (2, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627669)

A paycheck isn't a reward, it's a trade. Given the decrease in employee negotiation power lately, it's usually not even a fair trade. Somewhere, someone decided that the most important thing in life is having large amounts of money, and those that do tend to have unbelievable power over the rest of us...and usually aren't all that bright about it, but are at least organized.

Maybe that end of the year bonus is a reward...usually even with good ratings it's well below what you deserve. I guess I agree, a weekend of raiding and beating some hard boss is usually more rewarding than any amount of office politic endurance.

Re:two words (1)

Alexandra Erenhart (880036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627784)

That's exactly my feeling. I haven't said anywhere "no work and let's play". Jobs are what pays for our games, feed us and let us have a place to sleep, and support others around us. But it's usually not a rewarding experience, but for those that have the luck to work on what they love to do. Is sad, but is the truth. In my country I see everyday people with grim faces, I see lots of them filled with stress and depression from work. I don't see anybody that plays with those symptoms (sorry if I misspelled)

This is not a work v/s play discussion, is more like finding the reason why some engage in games obsessively.

Re:two words (1)

scumbaguk (918201) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627483)

"seeing that some of them (even you) got good items, and everybody had fun, you feel rewarded. Not many can say that after 8 hours of work"
In the working world we call it a wage, it lets you buy real items, maybe even computer games. Nothing more rewarding then actualy being rewarded. :P Something to ponder.

Re:two words (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627484)

I feel the same after work as after a lan, but I really like my job. . .

well I'm new so I'm still eager to do things, give me a few months before my eyes glaze over, having to answer to 8 bosses after I make a mistake on my TPS reports.
I'll soon feel like every day is worse than the one before, so that every day that you see me, that's the worst day of my life.

But until then life is good :P

Re:two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15627562)

It's easy, you say "afk", or "I'm going to drop the kids off at the pool, brb". Aslong as you give the group heads-up and dont do it more than every 45 minutes for more than 2-5 minutes at a time, you can still get your instance/raid done effectively as well as not piss off your gamemates.

Rebelion (5, Funny)

Lucan Varo (974578) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627201)

If this won't start an uprising in China, nothing will.

Re:Rebelion (1)

blackbeaktux (525688) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627633)

>>But, really, more than 5 hours a day? Doesn't your ass get numb?

>If this won't start an uprising in China, nothing will.

If your ass is numb enough, the uprising cannot get started.

Re:Not surprising. (1)

Alexandra Erenhart (880036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627290)

Not if you have a good natural couch ;)

Or just a good pillow, or a good seat

I'm known among my family to be able to sit in front on the computer or a game console for around 8-10 hours. But I always take eating breaks or bio breaks.

People obsessed with games are everywhere, but I don't understand why only chinese and similars die because of it.

A female? 8-10 hours of gaming? (2, Funny)

Khaed (544779) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627342)

Will you marry me? ;)

Re:A female? 8-10 hours of gaming? (1)

Alexandra Erenhart (880036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627355)

Sorry, I'm already engage :P With a geek, of course. I have an image to maintain :P

Re:A female? 8-10 hours of gaming? (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627372)

Drat. If I had a mustache to twirl I would, and hatch a diabolical scheme to take over the world. Or some such. I'm not a good supervillain yet. Oh well, at least a fellow geek has won your affections.

Re:A female? 8-10 hours of gaming? (0, Troll)

scumbaguk (918201) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627451)

Blotchy skin thick rimmed specs and spots aint' a good look. But the real question is how can someone manage to have any money and play games for 10 hrs a day.

Re:A female? 8-10 hours of gaming? (1)

Alexandra Erenhart (880036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627497)

I guess you missed the part where I say "I'm known of" and assumed I do that everyday. That's your fault, not mine ;)

Because they do it in public (2, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627599)

People obsessed with games are everywhere, but I don't understand why only chinese and similars die because of it.


Because if you die at your home computer in your house, it just gets written as Trombosis [wikipedia.org] , which is due to all that sitting without moving can cause. Or whatever else killed you.

If you do it in a cyber-cafe in Korea, they publish a story like "gamer dies after a month of playing Lineage!!!"

Note that in most of those cases the guy didn't exactly die at the computer, but did something like go to the bathroom and die or go to the bar to ask for some water and die. So if you did it in your home, they wouldn't even find you at the computer with WoW running.

Re:Because they do it in public (1)

Alexandra Erenhart (880036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627653)

Thanks for the enlightment. I'll pay more attention to those little details.

It's sad to think that there are people that die from it. I like games, I like them a lot, but I also like going out for a walk with my friends and spend time with my fiancee.

But I have the impression a law wouldn't work too well. Things that provoke obsessions and are legally banned tend to turn into black market and it becomes worse. But I don't know China too well to ensure the failure or success of the law. I'll wait for the results.

Re:Not surprising. (1)

general scruff (938598) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627326)

Doesn't your ass get numb?

Yes

Re:Not surprising. (1, Interesting)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627390)

Only n00b players have their asses get numb. Real gamers utilize the Hermen Miller Aeron chair. For about $600 US you too can enjoy this comfort. It is pourous so it airs out (no more sweaty smelly chair). It is so comfortable that you can fall asleep in it (I have and I am 6'3).

Actually, there are some hardcore addicted players - these are not the players who want to play for 5 hours, 8 hours or even spend their entire saturday playing. The addicted ones are those who

1) Take drugs to stay up insane hours (i.e. 24 hours)

2) Drop out of school, quit their jobs

3) Neglect to do things like, I don't know clean their house

4) Stop contacting anyone in their lives outside of the game or the pizza delivery guy

I am sure there is more to this list, and some will argue one or two of the items.....I play, and I play often - in fact unless I am going out I will play from when I get home from work/gym until I go to bed. I still go to work, go out with friends/girlfriend, go to the gym, visit my mom, clean my condo, cook dinner, etc.

Re:Not surprising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15627877)

suuuuure you do.

Re:Not surprising. (1)

keyne9 (567528) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627447)

'Cause circumventing restrictions to do something, even for longer periods of time, is quite obviously an addiction. Whatever happened to just "having fun"?

Re:Not surprising. (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627510)

I'm not saying that anyone who plays games a lot is addicted. I play games for long periods of time sometimes myself. I sat and played Vice City for over five hours before, and I know I've played RPGs longer -- especially during the summers when I was younger. Just not regularly. Certainly not enough to die from it (which is, I believe, the cause for these restrictions). Maybe I just get bored with games easy (5+ hours a day? In a week I'm going to be sick of looking at it and sick of the music and/or sounds coming from it).

However, if you get to the point where you freak out if someone takes the game away, you have a problem. If you can't put it down, that's an addiction. Would it really hurt to only game for 20-30 hours a week? 'Cos you're only awake for around 112 (give or take a dozen depending on your personal sleep needs and habits). Leave some time for porn, too. ;)

Re:Not surprising. (3, Funny)

general scruff (938598) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627495)

Doesn't your ass get numb?

Only when I ride him bare-back.
Plus, he hates video games.

Re:Not surprising. (4, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627606)

It'd be my top priority even if I didn't like the game. Imagine, someone telling me what's good for me, and making a law out of it.

It's like the idiots who were trying to criminalize junk food. Without a law to forbid me, I never eat the crap. If someone tried to make it I'd eat two bags of cheetos, smoke 3 packs a day and wash it all down with a few bottles of whiskey. Just for spite.

We need to teach them kids some good old fashioned rebelliousness as part of our outsourcing efforts. Make their government pay for enticing our corporations over.

Re:Not surprising. (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627769)

If someone tried to make it I'd eat two bags of cheetos, smoke 3 packs a day and wash it all down with a few bottles of whiskey.

I can see it now, the next celebrity diet:

"The cheetos, cigarettes and whiskey diet. By Kevin Federline."

Parents anyone? (4, Insightful)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627183)

"...to increase enforcement of laws banning minors from internet cafes."


Where are there parents while they spend so many hours per day at these places? I think that they should bare some responsibility for their children's actions.

Re:Parents anyone? (2, Insightful)

Khaed (544779) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627197)

It's possible their parents are playing WoW or another MMORPG, too. I knew a (very irritating) girl who was the only person in her family who didn't play WoW obsessively.

That, or they're like American parents, and they think their kids are everyone else's responsibility. Is there a Chinese Jack Thompson?

Re:Parents anyone? (3, Funny)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627967)

Where are there parents while they spend so many hours per day at these places? I think that they should bare some responsibility for their children's actions.

To be fair, the parents are busy spending 15 hour work days making your iPods in slave like conditions. Are you feeling any better now?

Re:Parents anyone? (1)

toiletsalmon (309546) | more than 8 years ago | (#15628037)

Damnit! You beat me to it!

Well, you know what they say... (2, Funny)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627190)

core of around 14% of players admitted to registering multiple accounts to get around the restrictions

Well, a change is as good as a rest!

Gaming companies (3, Interesting)

foo52 (980867) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627203)

It may just be me, but I don't think the companies that make the games are going to be bothered with people paying for more than one account. Besides, just as with Jack Thompson, people will play no matter what regulations are in place.

Worst possible solution? (4, Insightful)

Volanin (935080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627232)

While the controls - which force operators of popular games such as World of Warcraft to impose penalties on players who play for more than three to five hours a day...


Man... are they really trying to solve the addiction problem by forbidding
the youngers from playing the games? I have no researches to base my ideas
on, but to me it seems that's the worst possible approach.

Bad habits cannot be eliminated. If you want to get rid of a bad habit, you
must replace it with a good one. The government should be doing some outdoor
activities campaigns or incentive to practice sports, or anything else
(the solution, of course, is not so trivial), but restricting the game
hours allowed, and blocking minors from internet cafes *without*
replacing this activity for something better will *not* solve
the problem.

Hell, it may sound a little pessimistic, but this "solution" may even
aggravate the problem if these kids/teenagers start developing even
worst habits like drugs or alcohol because they have nothing else
to fill their lives with.

Re:Worst possible solution? (4, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627261)

Man... are they really trying to solve the addiction problem by forbidding the youngers from playing the games?
Hell, it may sound a little pessimistic, but this "solution" may even aggravate the problem if these kids/teenagers start developing even worst habits like drugs or alcohol because they have nothing else to fill their lives with.
But didn't you hear? They made it against the rules for kids to use drugs or alcohol, and that's why it never ever happens anymore.

Re:Worst possible solution? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627323)

Bad habits cannot be eliminated. If you want to get rid of a bad habit, you must replace it with a good one.
That's odd, I quit smoking and didn't replace it with anything. Sure, I fiddled with stuff to keep my hands busy in the beginning, but I don't do that anymore.

If you mean that those affected by the law will need something else to do during that time, well, that's just plain obvious and has nothing to do with replacng one habit with another.

News at 11! (4, Funny)

PixelPirate (984935) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627240)

Addicts find ways to break rules to get fix... Holy Hell my world is collapsing...

Re:News at 11! (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627383)

One good thing: it helps keep those MMORPG kiddies who play 12 hours a day from having such a huge advantage over gamers who only play a few hours a day and never get a chance to level up the same way. And it reduces the load on the gaming companies from those 12 hour a day players, who never free up resources for others to play on the same servers.

Re:News at 11! (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627415)

The hardcore gamers bring in far more money in extra accounts, keeping the gold farmers in business, and free advertising than they possibly cost in resources.

Let the game companies do, and police, it then (2, Insightful)

ianscot (591483) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627919)

One good thing: it helps keep those MMORPG kiddies who play 12 hours a day from having such a huge advantage over gamers who only play a few hours a day and never get a chance to level up the same way. And it reduces the load on the gaming companies from those 12 hour a day players, who never free up resources for others to play on the same servers.

Let's have game companies make calculations about how to appeal to the most players and how to manage their resources to serve games. The advantages you suggest may be there -- they sound plausible, and as a casual player of a few games I have to say MMORPGs have never really appealed to me largely because of exactly the sort of people you're talking about.

Government intervention only imposes arbitrary standards for compliance with the law, preventing exactly the sorts of balancing you're talking about, though. Suddenly instead of "How do we serve our customers better?" it's "How do we obey the letter of this law some hair-sprayed politico cooked up in her utter ignorance of how games work?" Unintended consequences and ways to game the system will surely result.

(Speaking of the U.S. "No Child Left Behind" standards for schools.)

They should let the addicts be. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15627241)

Gaming addiction is a lot less damaging than "needlessly threaten Taiwan" addiction and "brutalize non-Chinese nations such as Tibet" addiction.

Think of how much better things would have been if Mao had been addicted to MUDs instead being obsessed with racking up more murder points than Stalin.

Ouch. (4, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627243)

I know how the gold farmers among those affected must feel.. I once had a full-time job cut me down to part-time hours.

Re:Ouch. (1)

blackbeaktux (525688) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627587)

Parent made it funny, but the RMT (Real Money Traders) I know in my MMORPG of choice have a small army of banking/farming/NMing accounts to keep $HOURS_CONSECUTIVELY_ONLINE per toon at 4-5 hours a day, to not raise suspicion. Say you go on a mining spree and find yourself competing with a known RMT. They "give up" after a while, only to have some other toon zone in to mine, and they belong to the same guild. /hmm. And this isn't grounds for calling a GM to investigate their behaviour.

The development company has been having this ongoing duel with RMT for years on end and have implemented many countermeasures to reduce the effectiveness of obtaining currency through non-natural means. Reduced drop/farm rates after a few hours in a zone, counter-botting mechanisms, anti-mpk measures, making some valuable drops non-sellable. And you know what? They find a way around it. The company recently cancelled a bunch of bank accounts - wiped out maybe $500K to $1M worth of virtual currency at market prices. Did RMT begin to see the grass is greener on the other side? Well, doesn't really look like it. Is the throwing of this monkeywrench going to do anything? They've already overcome much worse, methinks. Once the beancounters add it to the cost of doing business, /meh.

Yeah, I might've of rambled on, but the gold farmers won't feel a damn thing. Rejoice, Mr. Firefly, for your job is secure.

Minors..? (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627251)

I thought the people dieing from obsessive gaming were adults (20+ [chinadaily.com.cn] ).
Preventing minors to enter internet-cafés would target the wrong audience, wouldn't it?
What would those minors do when they have been DIEING to play a game because of all the media-hype around it, but couldn't because of local laws, and at a certain moment become "legal to game"?

Right.. play all they can to "catch up", even if it costs sleeping and eating...

Another Technique (4, Funny)

aymanh (892834) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627256)

I have another suggestion for the Chinese government, why don't they create a squad of Orcs that patrols WoW looking for lazy unproductive Chinese players and executes them in game?

Here's an idea (1)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627353)

After X hours, the players turn into "Obssessed Peon"s that can be hit with a special Blackjack item to boot them from all servers for Y hours.

You could even make a quest/put in some kind of reward (honor points?) to encourage narc behavior.

So. (4, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627257)

It's fine to work for 8 to 14 hours a day, but not permitted to perform an entertaining, pleasurable activity for more than 3 to 5 hours?

I appreciate that some people have a genuine problem with addiction, but I have to question society's priorities sometimes. People do literally work themselves to death, too.

Re:So. (5, Insightful)

Alexandra Erenhart (880036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627426)

That is because a lot of people see games as "wasting your time". So, for them, is fine to break your back working 8-14 hours a day, because you're "doing something productive". Call it social perception. If you spend 5 hours playing, for them is the same as if you spent those same 5 hours laying over your back admiring the ceiling.

Re:So. (-1, Troll)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627513)

Because it's anti-social? Unproductive? etc...

I don't think society values "oh drop out of school and be a brick layer" either. Your 8 hour work day should in theory be something that contributes to society [which may include brick laying but ideally not as a last resort].

Oh wow, you have a lvl 60 character. Big deal. How does that better society in any which way? How does that better yourself?

If you want to live your entire life with the thinking process of an eight year old then that's how you're going to get treated. With time outs and government handholding.

That and grow the fuck up. 8 hours a day of gaming is just obsessive.

Tom

As opposed to? (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627764)

As opposed to someone I know going fishing for 12 hours straight? Lemme guess, that's sooo contributing to society. It's been such a great gain for the country and community that he's caught half a pound worth of fish.

As opposed to sitting in front of the TV and watching football? Or soap operas? Or channel-surfing to see the same news again and again? Well, gee, that's so productive. I soo want to be like those when I grow up. Not.

No, you "grow the fuck up" already. People aren't at work 16 hours a day like in the middle ages any more. There are 8 hours a day of being productive. The rest is called "free" time. Hint: "free" as in "I'm free to spend it in any damn way I see fit, no matter how unproductive." Whether I want to use it tweaking a car, or collecting stamps, or playing a computer game, it's 100% only my decision. It's _my_ time, I used it as _I_ see fit.

If you don't like my passtime, tough luck, it's your problem not mine. Maybe you could find one for yourself that doesn't involve telling others what to do? Maybe grow up and realize that the world doesn't revolve around you?

Re:So. (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627810)

I don't think society values "oh drop out of school and be a brick layer" either. Your 8 hour work day should in theory be something that contributes to society [which may include brick laying but ideally not as a last resort].

That's not a good attitude. Brick layers are needed too. We can't all sit behind a desk, somebody has to do the important but relatively unpleasant things.

Oh wow, you have a lvl 60 character. Big deal. How does that better society in any which way? How does that better yourself?

Oh wow, you posted some verbal diarrhea on Slashdot. Big deal. How does that better society in any way which way? How does that better yourself?

If you want to live your entire life with the thinking process of an eight year old then that's how you're going to get treated. With time outs and government handholding.

I have the thinking process of an eight year old because I play videogames, whereas someone who spends his weekends getting drunk, snorting coke and fucking random strangers is the pinnacle of modern life. If that's what society values, then I don't need society.

Equinox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15628018)

hat is because a lot of people see games as "wasting your time". So, for them, is fine to break your back working 8-14 hours a day, because you're "doing something productive". Call it social perception. If you spend 5 hours playing, for them is the same as if you spent those same 5 hours laying over your back admiring the ceiling.


"I used to fall unconscious for hours at a time... Now with Equinox, I never need to sleep!"

Life is about work, work, work. When you sleep, you steal from society.

Re:So. (1)

suffe (72090) | more than 8 years ago | (#15628025)

How about work produces value for society whereas play produces joy for the individual. I'm not saying they are right, I'm just pointing out the probable reasons for the discrepancies in a society (or at least a government) that values the hole over the individual (workers).

As an outsider... (5, Interesting)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627269)

From the outside looking in, I can see a couple things going on here:

When life is so force-fed and censored as it can be in China, outlets like MMORPG's are the only form of "freedom" and people flock to them... so much so that it is an epidemic.

On top of this I see a problem where the more people inside playing MMO's are not out pumping money into the economy for goods, services, entertainment, etc.

As an avid gamer, and someone who has worked in this field, I actually find this sad. It is not that WoW is such an amazing game, as it is a sign of how low many people value their lives and free time. Gaming is one thing, _needing_ to spend so many hours inside a virtual world is another. Most MMO's aren't really that great, and force long grinds and tedious gameplay with little reward for the time and money spent. This is not confined to China either, it is just magnified there. MMO's are a bad trend, and one that needs to be channeled in a different direction. Massive online playable games are good, and are very engaging, but they need to become more than long, drawn-out time wasters and overflowing coffers of money... they need to become fun and exciting and to the point even if this comes at the expense of some profit. I'll admit Guild Wars had me hooked for a few months myself, but the endless nerfs and radical gameplay changes that constantly rendered my time and effort useless made me remember why MMO's are a sham. I just think that many people are missing the real story here... WHY are MMO's such a big problem, what is the root of this problem?

Re:As an outsider... (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627427)

When life is so force-fed and censored as it can be in China, outlets like MMORPG's are the only form of "freedom" and people flock to them... so much so that it is an epidemic.

Exactly. Why is China messing with the "bread and circuses" formula? It's worked so well in the past.

Re:As an outsider... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15627518)

Exactly. Why is China messing with the "bread and circuses" formula? It's worked so well in the past.

When did China ever have a bread and circuses system? The social welfare system has never been as strong as, say, Europe's, and government-sponsored entertainment basically does not exist. For that matter, the government doesn't exactly support "the opiate of the masses," either.

But hey, don't let reality get in the way of your rhetoric. Everything anti-China gets modded up on Slashdot, so you're probably headed straight to a +5.

Re:As an outsider... (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627579)

I meant to say "it's worked so well in the past for other totalitarian governments." Your interpretation hadn't even occured to me, honestly.

Re:As an outsider... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15628040)

Everything anti-China gets modded up on Slashdot

It only makes sense, the lefties don't like the Chinese government because it is totalitarian, amoral, hypocritical and anti-democratic in pretty much every way, the righties don't like the Chinese government because they are so much better at repression then we are. I have it on good authority that Ann Coulter fingers itself to pictures of that liberal about to be squashed by a tank in Tiananmen.

Re:As an outsider... (4, Insightful)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627433)

Most MMO's aren't really that great, and force long grinds and tedious gameplay with little reward for the time and money spent.

Apart from the social aspects of MMOs, I'd say one of the defining factors of their addictiveness is that they're basically easy. You can progress (i.e. gain material rewards) without really having to think much. Contrast this with the real world where reward is not proportional to time or effort.

Re:As an outsider... (1)

Alexandra Erenhart (880036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627464)

Contrast this with the real world where reward is not proportional to time or effort

I guess that's exactly why I prefer playing than doing something else. Thanks for putting words on my thought.

Re:As an outsider... (1)

mabu (178417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627637)

When life is so force-fed and censored as it can be in China, outlets like MMORPG's are the only form of "freedom" and people flock to them... so much so that it is an epidemic.

As an "outsider" what makes you think your average Chinese person is wandering around in desperation looking for this so-called "freedom" that he's missing? How is being trapped in a MMORPG with it's own authoritarian arbitrary rule any different from whatever distorted reality you're implying these foreigners live in? And ultimately, how is it really much different from the reality you live in?

Re:As an outsider... (2, Interesting)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627763)

Excuse me sir, your ignorance is showing. I have traveled to China, I have friends and family who live there... I have direct, personal knowledge of life both in the cities and in the rural areas. Try traveling to Chna and accessing the internet from an internet cafe sometime, where you cannot access any server outside China. You will then understand why it is futile to try to do anything but play an MMO.

It is even more sad that you have no concept of what life is actually like in China for the average citizen, and that you let your own ignorance keep you from actually seeing or understanding the real reality of this situation. Please take some time to actually look into this issue and I guarantee your eyes will be opened to what is really at the heart of my post and this issue.

Re:As an outsider... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15628001)

The only one whose ignorance is showing is you, if you think that internet cafes here "cannot access any server outside China" (in fact, only a small proportion of foreign sites are blocked) and that "it is futile to try to do anything but play an MMO".

I strongly doubt that you have travelled to China, and I also doubt that you have friends that live here. Your impression of China is stuck in the Cultural Revolution. Life in Chinese cities is really not very different from life in Europe and, while the people in villages are indeed poor, just because they don't have the conveniences you're used to doesn't make their lives futile.

Re:As an outsider... (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627846)

I don't think China is that totalitarian... it's not some 1984 society where a MMORPG is the only "freedom" anyone has.

I'm not speaking from experience or anything, but I just don't see China as bad as some people make it out to be.

NEW MMORPG - "Etherea - Dark Genesis" (1)

sketchman (964604) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627949)

MMO's are a bad trend, and one that needs to be channeled in a different direction. Massive online playable games are good, and are very engaging, but they need to become more than long, drawn-out time wasters and overflowing coffers of money... they need to become fun and exciting and to the point even if this comes at the expense of some profit.

Well, you may be somewhat happy to know that there is a new MMORPG in the making. The goal of the project is not to make money but to make a good game. The best part is that, unlike most games of its kind, it is being put together by gamers who code, model, and texture for the pure enjoyment of doing it.

If anyone would like to check it out, you can find it at the address below. There's also a forum.

http://www.etherea-dg.com/ [etherea-dg.com]

Are you outside the US, then? (1)

ianscot (591483) | more than 8 years ago | (#15628007)

When life is so force-fed and censored as it can be in China, outlets like MMORPG's are the only form of "freedom" and people flock to them... so much so that it is an epidemic.

Er, personally I know a handful of people in the US who've gotten seriously hooked on MMORPGs. The ratio of people I know with a gaming "problem" on that scale to people I know with a drug or alcohol problem is -- well, let's say there are more gamers and leave it there.

What does that mean about the U.S., based on your "escape into gaming" explanation?

I'm not seeing concrete evidence that things are worse in China. Given the terms of labor there, it seems likely the time spent per user is greater in America just based on our comparatively greater leisure time... Not that we're so loaded with time off next to other Western powers.

If we had real numbers about this, I'm going to guess that the US and Japan would rank very high in "obsessive" MMORPG by whatever criteria we chose, and that European societies with greater leisure time (vacations, fewer hours worked a week) wouldn't show the same thing. Just a guess, though. (And none of that's an argument for governmental intervention.)

ADHD (5, Interesting)

mulhollandj (807571) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627272)

It is interesting to see how kids and adults with ADHD who normally can't focus on anything can hyper-focus on a game. It becomes an addiction much like alcohol or drugs. It is very difficult to overcome by yourself. I have been there. I am grateful to have a wife who gets after me if I play too much now but not everybody has someone looking out for them or even parents that care. What can we do to help them? I don't think it is the role of government but the our role has human beings to help our neighbors.

Re:ADHD (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627440)

Funny, I'm willing to bet that if human beings instead took on the role of "live and let live", we'd have a lot less problems.

Re:ADHD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15627492)

No it's your role to stay out of my fucking business.

We can't have freedom with idiots like you trying to run people's lives.

Fuck you.

Re:ADHD (1)

Solder Fumes (797270) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627693)

There's probably a simpler explanation for this, but everyone's thinking like free worlders here.

The truth is that living in China sucks so much, the perfect fantasy of WoW is that much more alluring.

Re:ADHD (1)

DarkGreenNight (647707) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627736)

It is interesting to see how kids and adults with ADHD who normally can't focus on anything can hyper-focus on a game.
Perhaps it is because ADHD is overdiagnosed. ADHD is not "Hey, there's a bunch of things i don't care about, I cannot concentrate on them!." But saddly it seems so, by most comments.

The "problem" with most MMORPGs is that either you are in there almost all of your free time or you fall away from the levels required by your online friends, and you can no longer play much with them. It makes gaming seem a work. But, even with this "restriction" it's more freedom than some people are used to get, so I guess that's the problem for the chinese goverment, as people would stop looking at themselves as a machine piece and start looking at themselves as persons.

Bring it on! (4, Funny)

Brix Braxton (676594) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627296)

I have a teen aged punk ass that locks himself in his room with his gaming machine flanked by two laptop's playing Lineage all day -the damn lawn is getting tall and I could sure use a dose of this in my household.

Re:Bring it on! (5, Funny)

Alexandra Erenhart (880036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627322)

Place yourself near the garden door with a yellow exclamation point over your head. He might get interested in the quest of "saving the house from the never-ending growth of the evil lawn". Who knows, it might actually work :P

For extra effect (1)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627642)

Make it silver and completly ignore him for a while - THEN go for the yellow. He's bound to be interested in a quest he just leveled enough to do because of the ph@t l3wt.

Re:For extra effect (1)

Alexandra Erenhart (880036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627723)

Or even more, you can make it a quest chain! after the lawn, it could be tiding his room, washing dishes, who knows, the posibilities are endless. But don't forget the ph@t l3wt

Re:Bring it on! (1)

tigaszzz (985824) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627833)

lol brilliant ;)

Re:Bring it on! (0, Redundant)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627336)

You need an emo lawn. It cuts itself.

Re:Bring it on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15627337)

RTFA. Move to China.

Re:Bring it on! (0, Flamebait)

Another IT Grunt (981199) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627358)

So go cut the grass lazy ass dad!!! My dad tried that stuff with me and I just "lost" the oil plug to the mower, it's not your son's job to take care of your house!!!!!

Re:Bring it on! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15627406)

So why aren't you doing anything about it? You sound like his father, so I'll assume you are, in which case the appropriate thing to do is to physically remove the lock from his door, take away both of those laptops (what the hell does he need two laptops for, in addition to a desktop? Are you trying to spoil him rotten?), and tell him that if you see him playing Lineage outside of the hours of 6:00 to 8:00 (or if he hasn't done his homework), you'll just sell all of his computers on eBay.

Then stick to your word. Come on, it's not that hard.

Re:Bring it on! (1)

thatgun (221980) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627831)

You sound just like my father...

Are we supposed to be idiots? (2, Insightful)

mzs (595629) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627340)

Look banning minors from internet cafes is not really about combating internet addiction. If it were then what will it do for those that are adults, you know the same people that do not have parents anymore to not give money and permission to go to the internet cafe. This move is about preventing impressionable idealistic youths from reading about topics that will later lead to dissent. There is a certain danger to visiting certain sites from home or school. A lax internet cafe is a simple way around that.

Power Gamers (1)

particle_fizax (883569) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627366)

This system wasn't put in place to restrict the amount of time people play. Blizzard could care less how much time someone puts into a game. The rest system in WoW and Vitality system in EQ2 is in place so that casual gamers have some (albeit very small) chance of not falling behind power gamers in the XP grind. And as the article mentioned, it's common place to hear (out of vit/rest, switching to my alt) so in reality the only thing it limits is the desire to grind a single character to max level without alts. I've seen games that have messages that say, "You've been online for an hour now, please consider taking a break." But come on, do you think they really mean it?

Is this the same China we keep bitching about? (2, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627376)

Oh c'mon, I can't believe it. This is the communist, big-brother like China which keeps a very strict control over its citizens. Or is it???

I think that somewhere, somehow we lost a bit of touch about China's reality. Perhaps the government isn't as powerful as we thought...

If I was the chinese govt, I would issue ID cards with photograph and fingerprint to all people over 12, and then over 18, and use that to verify that the teenagers can't REALLY access internet cafes.

Oh well.

One thing i'm curious about (1)

GodaiYuhsaku (543082) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627384)

How are the laws are affecting the gold farming shops? (Not saying all gold farmers are chinese, just that there are chinese gold farmers) Do they just purchase an additional accounts or do they have more work arounds?

Re:One thing i'm curious about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15627437)

It doesn't. Gold farmers play in US/Euro servers to farm gold for the lazy ass rich cheating bastards in US and Europe. No such restrictions exist in these servers - they are enforced only in chinese servers.

Most chinese don't have the money to blow on imaginary platinum/gold pieces to cheat.

OK, what is wrong with people? (1)

amdandcode (952992) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627623)

Look, I'm all for people NOT becoming addicted to anything. Human beings need a healthy dose of a wide variety of things. But I am a bit pissed off when any government attempts to do something this stupid.

Look, I'm the work-a-holic type of guy. I spend most of my time working (even late into the night), and when I finally come home and sleep, I'm almost too tired to get up in the morning. For people like me, doing the best job possible (I'm not forced to work this hard) is an obssession. I'm admitting it. I literally only get like one truly free day twice a month or something. And when I do get those days off, I want to be able to spend all day doing something fun. Is it wrong if I decide to spend all day some month playing that $50-$60 video game I bought last year? Is it any government's business whatsoever if I decide to use my equipment, my internet connection, on my time?

Come on!!! This is the f***ing Chinese government. They don't give two shits about your health. This is the same government that has one of the hardest and strictest death penalties available on the face of the earth. They allow people to work in low living conditions with low wages and constant over-work on at least a slavery level. A good friend of mine left China as soon as he could because the situation over there is so bad. He'll tell anyone not to emmigrate to China.

To reiterate, I don't think it's good for people to have an unhealthy addiction to anything. But when rules get as picky as "you can't play this game online for more than 3 hours a day", well, let's just say you'll have me up in arms against the asshole government who wants to play 1948 (George Orwell) with me ! I like my rights. If I decide to overwork to make extra money one day, and my boss has no problem letting me take the next day off to finally finish Doom 3 because I've covered that day's work already, I sure as hell better be able to do that with no constrictions from the government that I pay taxes to.

What about children? It's the job of parents, not the job of any government, to deal with their own kids. If parents think it's OK for their kids to spend over 3 hours playing a MMORPG, then let their kids do that. Since when is having good fun morally wrong? And who is the government to decide what is right or wrong for us? Conversely, if parents decide to limit their kid's gaming time to "prevent addiction", what's wrong with that? The parents had to raise their kids, not the government.

And by the way, addiction is not always prevented with enforced limitations on "access" to the object in question. In my own case, the more I have of anything the more I get tired of it and want to do something else. I guess that's a healthy human reaction, I don't know. But I can only play a video game generally for around a couple hours max, and then I get sick of it. However, I have occassionally spent all day finishing a game. But I'm an adult, going to college and working, and I feel that I have a right in my own spare time to do what I please.

Yeah, I'm in the U.S. and these people are in China. But just because you live in a different continent doesn't mean you have to abide by stupid government-imposed addiction "prevention" regulations. China wants to take away an open-information internet from its people, China wants to force their people into accepting a communist government (not that I'm against that form in its true self), China now wants to take away our video gaming rights!? WTF? Does that sound assinine to anyone else besides me? It's not like we're talking about drugs here. We're talking about games like WOW, Half-Life 2, Doom3, Halo, Halo 2, etc...what gives anyone above a child's mom and dad the right to limit their video gaming useage? What the hell?

Re:OK, what is wrong with people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15627943)

Just so you know, it isn't 1948, it's 1984.

Re:OK, what is wrong with people? (1)

keepfaraway (985825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627983)

>Yeah, I'm in the U.S. and these people are in China.
That's exactly why you have such a view point. I have seen too many similar postings before about Chinese government regulation, human right, internet great wall ... I can see you have a good heart. But you have to live in a culture to understand the scope of the problem. It's a sad thing. On the one side, people certainly don't want to have a big brother government. On the other side, it simply cannot work out the other way. A great example is the controversial one-child policy.

If you have a chance to be in the cities in China, you will start to realize it is an epidemic. It's not something parents can handle themselves. It really breaks my heart to see internet cafe owners take advantage of little kids and let them ruin, just to squeeze some extra money. I certainly agree regluation itself probably won't work well. We need to put more effort into educational campaign as well. But the situation now needs some desperate measures.

Government in Personal Life (1)

AaronHorrocks (686276) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627631)

I find it a bit surprising that the Government in China thinks it needs to get so much into the personal lives of it's people as to limit how much time a day a person plays video games.

Maybe playing video games is a good escape from the dreary life of working in a crapy factory with low wages and scrapping by, while living in an oppressive communist country...

Reason and Understanding. (0, Flamebait)

Salzorin (985348) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627685)

I can understand this completely... the chinese population is sick and tired of people wasting away their lives playing video games, so the best solution is obviously to send them to jail where they can waste away their lives getting raped while they sleep. Perhaps that's even being too light... after all, there are people that have DIED refusing to move from their location... for such blatant disregard for the law we MUST incorporate the death penalty; it's the only way to save these children.

Pro Democracy loophole (3, Funny)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627871)

So they let people play on-line games? Maybe a group of people should start accounts and use the dialog capabilities in the games to pass along news and info and get past the censorship they have on the rest of the web.

My dwarf warrior will be named "Tiananmen Massacre".

"...get around the restrictions?" (1)

redfieldp (549286) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627936)

Um, at 3-5 hours a day, don't you think that should be phrased "get around the ADDICTIONS"...christ, that's a lot of video game time...

Re:"...get around the restrictions?" (1)

LiLKirk (985830) | more than 8 years ago | (#15627966)

You think 3-5 hours a day is too much? Most people put in more time than that after they get home from work. I talk with guild mates everyday that have been logged in for 12+ hours. Not all of these men and women are 15 year olds on ummer vacation either

I'm the only party member my kids need (1)

ianscot (591483) | more than 8 years ago | (#15628059)

My kids developed a pretty serious Animal Crossing thing with their new DS a while ago, and I had to institute an allowance of time and some prerequisites (homework and instrument practice first) in order to play.

As the very sort of person who sees the problem being acted on here, I would deeply resent any attempt by Tipper Gore, Jack Thompson, or any politician to impose even the standards by which my kids were judged, let alone the specific measures to enforce them. That'd be every bit as likely to introduce unintended consequences as the consoring of library internet connections using government-chosen filtering software. It's sure less effective than what I did, too.

That said, it wouldn't hurt me at all to see game companies doing stuff like selling accounts at different thresholds of time, or giving me tools within the game, to cap time spent at different levels. Give me the tools in a way that works with the game, make it easier for me to choose this stuff. At the client end, this is a fine idea.

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