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Chinese video game regs take effect

BEIJING, July 31 (UPI) -- Rules governing on-line games aimed at protecting children from violent content and addiction take effect this weekend in China.

As of Sunday, video games likely to appeal to children are supposed to be free of content encouraging law-breaking and anti-social behavior, Xinhua, the official government news agency, reported. Game designers are also supposed to limit the time children can spend on games, although the regulation does not specify what an acceptable period of time would be or what game companies must do to comply.

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Another regulation requires players to register under their real names.

The Ministry of Culture announced the new regulations June 22.

Internet access is becoming increasingly common in China. The China Internet Network Information Center estimates 420 million people, more than one-third of the population, are now on-line and the value of companies involved in designing and selling on-line video games increased 40 percent in 2009 to $3.8 billion.

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