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  • 1 Center for Digital Play, IT University of Copenhagen, Rued Langgaards Vej 7, 2300, København, Denmark
  • | 2 School of Law, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS, United Kingdom
  • | 3 The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn, Lincoln's Inn, London, WC2A 3TL, United Kingdom
Open access

Abstract

China imposed strict restrictions on young people's participation in videogaming from September 2021. Colder Carras et al.'s commentary (2021) referred to this policy as ‘draconian,’ i.e., ‘excessively harsh and severe.’ However, any opinion on whether this policy is ‘draconian’ is a value judgment, and any judgment on its ‘effectiveness’ ought to be reserved until proven or disproven by empirical evidence. Indeed, the Chinese policy is neither potentially ineffective nor draconian, and is already providing at least one identifiable benefit: enhancing consumer protection by effectively reducing underage players' monetary spending on videogames, including on randomised, gambling-like mechanics known as ‘loot boxes.’

Abstract

China imposed strict restrictions on young people's participation in videogaming from September 2021. Colder Carras et al.'s commentary (2021) referred to this policy as ‘draconian,’ i.e., ‘excessively harsh and severe.’ However, any opinion on whether this policy is ‘draconian’ is a value judgment, and any judgment on its ‘effectiveness’ ought to be reserved until proven or disproven by empirical evidence. Indeed, the Chinese policy is neither potentially ineffective nor draconian, and is already providing at least one identifiable benefit: enhancing consumer protection by effectively reducing underage players' monetary spending on videogames, including on randomised, gambling-like mechanics known as ‘loot boxes.’

Introduction

The National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) of the People's Republic of China (PRC) imposed strict restrictions on the participation in videogaming by young people (aged under 18) beginning from 1 September 2021 (Xiao, 2021b; 国家新闻出版署 [National Press and Publication Administration (PRC)], 2021a). Specifically, companies are allowed to provide online videogaming services to minors only between 20:00–21:00 on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays (i.e., 3 h total in an average week) (Xiao, 2021b). This is a further reduction of permitted videogaming hours from older restrictions imposed in 2019 which allowed services to be provided at any time (except between 22:00–08:00 the next morning) for at least 1.5 h every day (i.e., 10.5 h total in an average week) (Xiao, 2020). The regulation is enforced by videogaming companies on PRC servers, which are required to verify the real-world identity of all users; identify underage players; actively calculate how much time is being spent live by each of those players; and promptly disconnect any players upon them reaching their time limit.

Dedicated, national, ‘Chinese’ servers are often created by videogame companies to enforce this restriction (in addition to achieving other goals), as was done by Supercell with Brawl Stars, for example. International online videogaming services offered on global servers generally do not attempt to identify underage PRC players and enforce this restriction, which means that PRC minors can potentially use VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) and other methods to obtain service beyond their ‘allowance’ on these servers (which are usually technologically blocked in the PRC and difficult to access). In addition, the limit explicitly applies only to online videogames and thereby excludes offline videogames (e.g., console games and single-player games on personal computers), likely due to technical difficulties with enforcing limits on the latter (Xiao, 2020). Another potential loophole for evading the limit remains open: falsely using an adult's ID card (e.g., a parent's) to verify the user account as not belonging to a minor to disapply the restrictions; however, companies have actively adopted technology to deal with minors masquerading as adults, e.g., by requiring facial recognition scans upon login and at regular intervals during gameplay (May & Chien, 2021).

This policy change was commented upon by Colder Carras, Stavropoulos, Motti-Stefanidi, Labrique, and Griffiths (2021) in the Journal of Behavioral Addiction, who referred to this policy as ‘draconian,’ which is defined by the Oxford Dictionary of English as ‘excessively harsh and severe’ (Stevenson, 2015). This note makes three points by responding to Colder Carras et al. (2021)'s claims about the measure's (i) alleged ineffectiveness and (ii) alleged ‘draconian-ness,’ and by (iii) presenting emerging evidence of identifiable benefits. This note thereby counterargues that any judgment and comments on whether these measures are ‘effective’ ought to be reserved until empirical evidence proves one way or the other. The PRC's policy is arguably neither potentially ineffective nor draconian, and indeed is arguably already benefiting underage PRC videogame players in at least one identifiable way: enhancing their consumer protection by effectively reducing their monetary spending on videogames, including specifically on randomised, gambling-like mechanics known as ‘loot boxes’ (see Drummond, Sauer, Hall, Zendle, & Loudon, 2020; Drummond & Sauer, 2018; Xiao, Henderson, Nielsen, Grabarczyk, & Newall, 2021), which have been linked to problem gambling (Garea, Drummond, Sauer, Hall, & Williams, 2021; Spicer et al., 2021; Zendle & Cairns, 2018).

Alleged ineffectiveness

Firstly, in relation to (in)effectiveness, Colder Carras et al. (2021) discussed how purely reducing young people's gameplay time is not a sufficiently nuanced policy response and the potential negative consequences thereof (e.g., that young people's overall wellbeing would not be improved and may indeed be harmed). However, with the benefit of hindsight, in the few months since the restrictions were imposed, it cannot be denied that this policy has been effective at what it set out to do: reduce gameplay time. Tencent, the largest videogaming company in the PRC and in the world, in its earnings report for the third quarter of 2021, addressed the new restrictions explicitly and revealed that the amount of time spent by PRC young people under 18 on videogaming ‘significantly [declined]’ from representing 6.4% of the total amount of time spent by all PRC players (i.e., including adults) in September 2020 to only 0.7% thereof in September 2021 (Tencent, 2021, p. 3). Tencent attributed this decline to the policy change, but other reasons may also have contributed to this reduction (e.g., more minors are now falsely using adult accounts to circumvent the measure and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on participation in videogaming (King, Delfabbro, Billieux, & Potenza, 2020)). In any case, this is a very substantial 89% reduction that appears to be, at least partly, caused by the new restrictions. PRC young people appear to now be spending less time playing videogames. That regulatory goal has been achieved.

Colder Carras et al. (2021) correctly identified certain difficulties with enforcing the restrictions, which were addressed in this note's Introduction. ‘Non-compliance’ by individuals negatively impacts the policy's overall effectiveness but does not affect the measure's inherent effectiveness on other ‘compliant’ individuals. The extent to which PRC young people attempt to circumvent the restrictions (the ‘compliance’ rate) has not yet been empirically assessed. Effectiveness of the measure in terms of compliance, as opposed to effectiveness in terms of the measure's potential harms and benefits as applied to young people who do ‘comply, are, however, two separate questions that should not be conflated. Notwithstanding, the 2021 restrictions are more effective than the 2019 restrictions at achieving the goal of reducing gameplay time because one particular loophole was ‘patched’: as mentioned above, the restrictions are enforced by videogame companies, which are tasked to measure how much time each player has spent. Companies operating multiple games, e.g., Tencent, were able to share each player's gameplay time ‘tally’ internally and keep a total count across multiple games that is used to decide whether the limit has been reached. However, there was no system that allowed for a total tally to be shared between companies, meaning that minors were potentially able to switch to different games to circumvent the restrictions: e.g., play 1.5 h of one game and then another 1.5 h of a second game operated by a different company, as long as this was done between 08:00–22:00. This is now no longer possible under the 2021 restrictions because of the new, additional rule that only permits videogaming services to be provided between 20:00–21:00. A minor can no longer ‘double-dip,’ because by the time that the 1-h limit takes effect in the first game, it would already be past 21:00, so a second game would also no longer provide service because it would now be outside of the permitted operating time, even if that second game is unaware that the minor has already spent an hour playing the first game.

A major reduction to PRC young people's gameplay time appears to have materialised, but another aspect of assessing the policy's effectiveness is to consider whether its benefits outweigh its harms. There is presently a lack of empirical knowledge and so no conclusion can yet be drawn. Based on studies of predominantly Western videogame players (and the literature has recognised that research results derived from so-called WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) samples are not necessarily generalisable to non-WEIRD societies (Henrich, Heine, & Norenzayan, 2010)), Colder Carras et al. (2021) suggested that this reduction in videogame time potentially leads to negative consequences, but does it (or rather did it) in fact do so amongst underage PRC videogame players? Due to cultural and other reasons, previously identified negative consequences that affected other samples might not affect young PRC players. Even Choi et al.’s policy study (2018)1 from the non-WEIRD South Korea (Hanguk) on the effectiveness of that country's since repealed online videogaming shutdown law (which prohibited online videogaming by under-16s between 00:00–06:00 the next morning) is not necessarily translatable, given that the WEIRD and non-WEIRD dichotomy itself fails to account for human diversity across the globe and indeed within a particular country (Ghai, 2021). Further research on the alleged harms should be conducted in the PRC to guide potential domestic law reform and provide perspective to other countries considering similar measures. Focus should be given to how different groups of young PRC players experience the measure differently: it is doubtful whether rich late adolescents living in a major city, such as Beijing, would experience the measure in the same way as less advantaged, young children from an ethnic minority living in a village in a poorer province. Attention should also be given to how young PRC adults would adapt to the sudden disapplication of the restrictions upon attaining the age of majority (which likely is also a time when they gain increasing independence and receive less parental supervision, e.g., attending university in another city across the country). In addition, it is not known whether this reduction has led to any positive consequences (besides the already evident loot box consumer protection benefits detailed below), e.g., reduced prevalence of myopia amongst young people (Rose et al., 2008) and more time spent engaging in physical social activities (Király, Browne, & Demetrovics, 2022), studying, or exercising outdoors (some of these were identified and cited by the NPPA as the regulatory intent (国家新闻出版署 [National Press and Publication Administration (PRC)], 2021b)). Those potential positive consequences might outweigh the negative concerns.

Alleged ‘draconian-ness’

Secondly, in relation to the policy being identified as ‘draconian’ by Colder Carras et al. (2021), this is their expression of a subjective opinion. Whether a measure is ‘draconian’ is a matter of degree and where the proverbial line in the sand should be drawn as to when a policy becomes ‘draconian’ is a value judgment informed (or coloured) by one's cultural backgrounds and political opinions. It was inappropriate for Colder Carras et al. (2021) to use a Western conceptualisation of what is ‘excessively harsh or severe’ to conclude that the policy of the PRC is ‘draconian’ and ‘need to be revised’ (p. 2). The PRC is a Far Eastern country, and its people do not necessarily share so-called Western values to the same degree. Western young people might predominantly view the measure as ‘draconian,’ if it is applied to them (or so the Western academic literature written by adults of varying ages is likely to assume), but PRC young people themselves might not see the measure as ‘draconian’ and might appreciate that the measure is seeking to further their own health and educational needs, even though they might resent, to some degree, the restrictions on their videogame play. Further, what might be seen as ‘draconian’ by Western academics might not be seen as ‘draconian’ by PRC parents, whose children are actually being affected by that policy. A majority of PRC parents might well approve the policy as an entirely appropriate and proportionate means for proactively addressing the potential harms of online videogaming, which they perceive to be a legitimate concern for their children.

Foremost, the point must be made that restrictions on videogaming could be even more severe than those imposed in the PRC. Indeed, participation in videogaming as an activity by young people could have been banned entirely, yet the PRC regulator decided against doing so after taking into account the seemingly minority views of ‘some teachers and parents … that moderate engagement with videogaming … might promote young people's healthy development’ (国家新闻出版署 [National Press and Publication Administration (PRC)], 2021b). Further, it should be noted that the PRC regulations are not framed as young people being explicitly prohibited from playing videogames except at certain times. Indeed, this policy actually does not impose any penalties on young people themselves for contravening it (i.e., they would not be fined or otherwise punished if found playing beyond the limits). Contrast this framing with that of UK gambling law, which criminalises not only the provision of gambling to under-18s by others but also voluntary participation in gambling by the young people themselves (n.b., defined as only those aged between 16 and 18, and not under-16s) (ss. 46 and 48 of the Gambling Act 2005). The PRC regulation is instead only framed as videogaming companies having certain obligations to limit how much videogaming service they can provide to young people. Simply put, PRC young people would not be personally punished by the law for playing videogames, even beyond the limits. This further reduces the ‘draconian-ness’ of the PRC policy: it does not even ‘punish’ young people.

Finally, Colder Carras et al. (2021) identified the importance of engaging stakeholders in order to successfully implement policy. It is obviously important for future research to consider what underage PRC players think about the new restrictions (some of whom might support, or at least appreciate, its implementation), but in addition to the underage players, other important stakeholders in the videogaming context are their parents and their educators (e.g., schoolteachers). The NPPA referred repeatedly to the opinions of parents and educators, including seemingly minority views, and how those were taken into account during the policymaking process when being queried by journalists in relation to the relevant new policy: specifically, that ‘not a few’ parents reflected that the older 2019 limits on young people's videogaming time (see Xiao, 2020) were overly lenient such that the hourly limits should be further reduced to only permit even less time, and that ‘some’ parents and teachers support moderate videogaming thus leading the NPPA to decide not to ban videogaming by young people entirely (国家新闻出版署 [National Press and Publication Administration (PRC)], 2021b). In South Korea (Hanguk), ‘many parents’ reportedly supported that country's online videogaming restrictions on under-16s (Koh, 2015, p. 224). Indeed, some parents in Western countries, perhaps (partly) in jest, have expressed support for the PRC policy (Coster, 2021), reflecting that at least some parents in and outside the PRC desire being better empowered to more effectively control their children's videogaming. Although this remains to be empirically assessed, it is not far-fetched to suggest that the ‘draconian’ PRC policy might have the support of many and, quite possibly, the majority of PRC parents and educators (Soo, 2021). What if the policy, rather than being executively imposed, was instead adopted by referendum or some other form of ‘democratic’ policymaking that is more widely accepted by Western societies, or if, indeed, the policy was adopted by a Western country through its legislative process? Would Colder Carras et al. (2021) then make similar criticisms on the PRC policy; refer to it as being ‘draconian; ’ draw allusions to capital punishment (p. 2); attack the country's legal due process (p. 2); and argue for the policy's revision based (at least partly) on a value judgment? The content and efficacy of any particular policy should not be judged based on the procedure by which it was adopted: these are two separate questions. If the majority of a hypothetical electorate supports a law and willingly applies it to themselves and their children, can that law still be ‘draconian’? That hypothetical electorate evidently thinks not, and that would be the only opinion that matters.

Contrast with the western view on loot box regulation: hypocrisy?

Indeed, different countries in the world have taken different stances on the regulation of videogames in relation to loot boxes: some countries (e.g., the UK, France, and, indeed, the PRC (Xiao, Henderson, Yang, & Newall, 2021)) have adopted a permissive approach that has allowed most loot boxes to remain unregulated and available for purchase by children; in contrast, other countries (e.g., Belgium and the Netherlands) have adopted a restrictive approach that has sought to regulate certain implementations of loot boxes as gambling (Xiao, 2021a, 2022). Belgium has effectively banned all paid loot boxes and prohibited their purchase by adults and children alike (even adults who would never be potentially harmed by loot boxes are no longer allowed to buy them, thus leading to the removal of certain games from the Belgium market (Nintendo, 2019), which has deprived all Belgian players of the opportunity to play them and thereby infringed upon the players' right to choose and their ‘freedom’). Yet, there has been little criticism of that ‘draconian’ Belgian approach and indeed substantial support for the replication of that draconian ‘outright ban’ policy in other Western countries, e.g., in the UK, by academics (e.g., Close & Lloyd, 2021, p. 40), charities and other NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) (e.g., Mason, 2021), and, indeed, the legislature (Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry of the House of Lords (UK), 2020, p. 115, para. 446). Less restrictive, less ‘draconian’ regulatory approaches to minimising potential loot box harms are available (King & Delfabbro, 2019b; Xiao & Henderson, 2021; Xiao & Newall, in press), e.g., mandating probability disclosures, as adopted in the PRC, ironically (Xiao, Henderson, Yang, & Newall, 2021). Surely those other approaches that more effectively balance the interests of all stakeholders than an indiscriminate ban, as adopted by Belgium, would better promote ‘Western values.’ Countries are within their rights to regulate loot boxes, or videogaming in general, differently and exercise varying degrees of paternalism. Does the Western moral panic in relation to loot boxes and potential gambling-related harms justify such hypocrisy?

Emerging evidence of identifiable benefits

Thirdly, Colder Carras et al. (2021) did not discuss how the PRC restrictions on videogaming time are bundled with similar restrictions on videogaming monetary spending, that were first imposed from 1 November 2019 (Xiao, 2020; 国家新闻出版署 [National Press and Publication Administration (PRC)], 2019). When these two measures are examined in conjunction: a benefit and positive consequence of the ‘draconian’ PRC policy is already evident. Indeed, it appears that these monetary spending limits are less offensive and less ‘draconian’ (if at all) to Western palates. Western researchers have contrarily supported and advocated for the imposition of (arguably draconian) maximum spending limits on videogames globally and on adults no less (Close & Lloyd, 2021, p. 37; Drummond, Sauer, & Hall, 2019; King & Delfabbro, 2019b), specifically in relation to loot boxes, even though such limit-setting may lead to unintended negative consequences and is arguably not informed by direct empirical research (King & Delfabbro, 2019a), similar to what Colder Carras et al. (2021) argued in relation to the PRC restrictions on videogaming time. Indeed, imposing a maximum spending limit is perhaps not the best solution to achieving the goal of reducing loot box harms in the overall population because this measure targets and affects only the highest spending players, as compared to, for example, designing more transparent and ethical loot boxes, which would benefit all players regardless of how much they spend (King & Delfabbro, 2019b; Xiao & Henderson, 2021; Xiao & Newall).

Nonetheless, considerable support for the imposition of a maximum monetary spending limit on loot boxes (and, by extension, videogames) can be identified in the Western academic literature. Such a regulatory measure was first adopted and imposed in the PRC from 1 November 2019, and it remains in force. Although it is reasonable to assume that this measure has been effective at limiting the spending of the highest-spending players, no research or public industry data is available as to by how much underage players' spending was reduced by the initial imposition of that measure collectively or individually, i.e., comparing spending before and after 1 November 2019. However, after the 2021 restrictions on videogaming time were imposed (i.e., the ‘draconian’ policy), Tencent (again, in its earnings report for the third quarter of 2021) revealed that the amount of money spent by PRC young people under 18 on videogaming ‘significantly [declined]’ from representing 4.8% of the total amount of money spent by all PRC players (i.e., including adults) in September 2020 to only 1.1% thereof in September 2021 (Tencent, 2021, p. 3). This suggests that a substantial proportion of Chinese young people were in fact previously spending the maximum monetary limit during September 2020 (and likely between 1 November 2019 and 31 August 2021 generally) and has only had their spending reduced below that maximum permitted level from after 1 September 2021, given that otherwise there should not have been such a substantial reduction from September 2020 to September 2021. This reduction happened because of the ‘draconian’ videogame time restriction policy being imposed. Compared to before, not only were the highest-spending players effectively targeted by the limit-setting measure, it seems that a significant proportion of the less high-spending players' spending was also effectively reduced, thus achieving two goals instead of one. The combination of these two policies avoids the major flaw of the limit-setting policy (when it operates alone) of only being able to change the behaviour of, and provide consumer protection to, the highest-spending players. Previous research has established that loot boxes are present in 91% of the highest-grossing mobile games in the PRC (far exceeding their prevalence in Western countries (Xiao, Henderson, & Newall, 2021; Zendle, Meyer, Cairns, Waters, & Ballou, 2020)) and indeed many games are predominantly monetised by such mechanics (Xiao, Henderson, Yang, & Newall, 2021). The aim of the PRC's videogame spending limit-setting (and, by implication, loot box limit-setting) policies of reducing monetary spending seems to have finally started ‘working,’ or at least worked substantially better, amongst more average-spending players, after the stricter restrictions on videogaming time were imposed in September 2021. Young people in Western countries have been identified as being potentially particularly vulnerable to loot box-related harms (González-Cabrera et al., 2021; Wardle & Zendle, 2021; Zendle, Meyer, & Over, 2019), and PRC young people are particularly more frequently exposed to such mechanics (Xiao, Henderson, Yang, & Newall, 2021). Better consumer protection in relation to loot boxes is now provided to PRC young people: many of them are spending less money. This is an evident and identifiable benefit of the ‘draconian’ PRC policy.

Conclusion

Given that revisions to this PRC policy are unlikely to be forthcoming, rather than dismissing it as misguided and ‘draconian’ at such an early stage through a coloured lens, researchers should instead focus on considering the effects of this policy on PRC young people: e.g., how are they now spending that time they used to spend playing videogames? Researchers could also consider how videogaming-related harms will now develop differently in the PRC; in other Far East Asian countries (e.g., South Korea (Hanguk), which has recently reversed course, repealed its videogaming restrictions on underage players, and taken a divergent, laissez-faire approach to young people's videogaming (Xiao, 2021b; 문화체육관광부 [Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (South Korea)], 2021)); and in Western countries by comparing multiple national cohorts. Any policymaking is effectively an experiment, and the PRC policy has created an experimental environment and research opportunities that can help the world learn more about videogaming by children. The PRC's experimental regulations might inform policymaking in other countries, including Western countries: be it that such measures are ineffective, or be it that they are justified because they might, on balance, be more beneficial than harmful, despite their restrictive nature.

Disclaimer

The views expressed herein do not purport to reflect those of the author's affiliated institutions past or present.

Funding sources

L.Y.X. is supported by a PhD Fellowship funded by the IT University of Copenhagen (IT-Universitetet i København), which is publicly funded by the Kingdom of Denmark.

Conflict of interest

L.Y.X. was employed by LiveMe, a subsidiary of Cheetah Mobile (NYSE:CMCM) as an in-house counsel intern from July to August 2019 in Beijing, People's Republic of China. L.Y.X. was not involved with the monetisation of video games by Cheetah Mobile or its subsidiaries. L.Y.X. has accepted conference travel and attendance grants from the Socio-Legal Studies Association (February 2022) and the Current Advances in Gambling Research Conference Organising Committee with support from Gambling Research Exchange Ontario (GREO) (February 2022).

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  • Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry of the House of Lords (UK) (2020). Report of session 2019–21: Gambling Harm—Time for action (HL paper 79). https://web.archive.org/web/20200702195336/https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld5801/ldselect/ldgamb/79/79.pdf.

    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Soo, Z. (2021, September 20). Parents in China laud rule limiting video game time for kids. Associated Press News. https://apnews.com/article/lifestyle-technology-business-health-games-ba88276e6f9089a3b9bc65fc19cc0880.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Spicer, S. G. , Nicklin, L. L. , Uther, M. , Lloyd, J. , Lloyd, H. , & Close, J. (2021). Loot boxes, problem gambling and problem video gaming: A systematic review and meta-synthesis. New Media & Society. https://doi.org/10.1177/14614448211027175.

    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • A. Stevenson (Ed.), (2015). Draconian. Oxford dictionary of English. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acref/9780199571123.001.0001.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tencent (2021, November 10). Tencent announces 2021 third quarter results. Tencent Investor Relations. https://static.www.tencent.com/uploads/2021/11/10/57d32da50c1d7abe221d7f9ca9ec3dcb.pdf.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wardle, H. , & Zendle, D. (2021). Loot boxes, gambling, and problem gambling among young people: Results from a cross-sectional online survey. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 24(4), 267274. https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2020.0299.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xiao, L. Y. (2020). People’s Republic of China legal update: The notice on the prevention of online gaming addiction in juveniles (Published October 25, 2019, effective November 1, 2019). Gaming Law Review, 24(1), 5153. https://doi.org/10.1089/glr2.2019.0002.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xiao, L. Y. (2021a). Regulating loot boxes as gambling? Towards a combined legal and self-regulatory consumer protection approach. Interactive Entertainment Law Review, 4(1), 2747. https://doi.org/10.4337/ielr.2021.01.02.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xiao, L. Y. (2021b). People’s Republic of China legal update: The notice on further strictly regulating and effectively preventing online video gaming addiction in minors (Published August 30, 2021, effective September 1, 2021). Gaming Law Review, 25(9), 379382. https://doi.org/10.1089/glr2.2021.0026.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xiao, L. Y. (2022). Which implementations of loot boxes constitute gambling? A UK legal perspective on the potential harms of random reward mechanisms. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 20(1), 437454. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-020-00372-3.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xiao, L. Y. , & Henderson, L. L. (2021). Towards an ethical game design solution to loot boxes: A commentary on king and Delfabbro. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 19(1), 177192. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-019-00164-4.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xiao, L. Y. , Henderson, L. L. , & Newall, P. (2021). What are the odds? Lower compliance with western loot box probability disclosure industry self-regulation than Chinese legal regulation. OSF preprints. https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/g5wd9.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xiao, L. Y. , Henderson, L. L. , Nielsen, R. K. L. , Grabarczyk, P. , & Newall, P. W. S. (2021). Loot boxes, gambling-like mechanics in video games. In N. Lee (Ed.), Encyclopedia of computer graphics and games. Springer.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xiao, L. Y. , Henderson, L. L. , Yang, Y. , & Newall, P. W. S. (2021). Gaming the system: Suboptimal compliance with loot box probability disclosure regulations in China. Behavioural Public Policy, 127 Advance Online Publication https://doi.org/10.1017/bpp.2021.23.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xiao, L. Y. , & Newall, P. W. S. (in press). Probability disclosures are not enough: Reducing loot box reward complexity as a part of ethical video game design. Journal of Gambling Issues. Preprint: PsyArXiv. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/nuksd.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zendle, D. , & Cairns, P. (2018). Video game loot boxes are linked to problem gambling: Results of a large-scale survey. Plos One, 13(11), e0206767. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0206767.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zendle, D. , Meyer, R. , Cairns, P. , Waters, S. , & Ballou, N. (2020). The prevalence of loot boxes in mobile and desktop games. Addiction, 115(9), 17681772. https://doi.org/10.1111/add.14973.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zendle, D. , Meyer, R. , & Over, H. (2019). Adolescents and loot boxes: Links with problem gambling and motivations for purchase. Royal Society Open Science, 6, 190049. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.190049.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 国家新闻出版署 [National Press and Publication Administration (PRC)] (2019, October 25). 关于防止未成年人沉迷网络游戏的通知 [Notice on the prevention of online gaming addiction in juveniles] 国新出发〔2019〕34号. http://www.sapprft.gov.cn/sapprft/contents/6588/407807.shtml.

  • 国家新闻出版署 [National Press and Publication Administration (PRC)] (2021b, August 30). 国家新闻出版署有关负责人就《关于进一步严格管理切实防止未成年人沉迷网络游戏的通知》答记者问 [Responses provided by the relevant person in charge at the national press and publication administration to questions posed by journalists in relation to the notice on further strictly regulating and effectively preventing online video gaming addiction in minors]. http://www.nppa.gov.cn/nppa/contents/719/98788.shtml.

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  • 国家新闻出版署 [National Press and Publication Administration (PRC)] (2021a, August 30). 国家新闻出版署关于进一步严格管理切实防止未成年人沉迷网络游戏的通知 [Notice of the national press and publication administration on further strictly regulating and effectively preventing online video gaming addiction in minors] 国新出发〔2021〕14号. http://www.nppa.gov.cn/nppa/contents/279/98792.shtml.

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1

Whose methodology of focusing on assessing ‘internet use’ in general, rather than ‘videogaming use,’ can be improved upon.

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  • Soo, Z. (2021, September 20). Parents in China laud rule limiting video game time for kids. Associated Press News. https://apnews.com/article/lifestyle-technology-business-health-games-ba88276e6f9089a3b9bc65fc19cc0880.

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  • Spicer, S. G. , Nicklin, L. L. , Uther, M. , Lloyd, J. , Lloyd, H. , & Close, J. (2021). Loot boxes, problem gambling and problem video gaming: A systematic review and meta-synthesis. New Media & Society. https://doi.org/10.1177/14614448211027175.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • A. Stevenson (Ed.), (2015). Draconian. Oxford dictionary of English. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acref/9780199571123.001.0001.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tencent (2021, November 10). Tencent announces 2021 third quarter results. Tencent Investor Relations. https://static.www.tencent.com/uploads/2021/11/10/57d32da50c1d7abe221d7f9ca9ec3dcb.pdf.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wardle, H. , & Zendle, D. (2021). Loot boxes, gambling, and problem gambling among young people: Results from a cross-sectional online survey. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 24(4), 267274. https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2020.0299.

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    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xiao, L. Y. (2020). People’s Republic of China legal update: The notice on the prevention of online gaming addiction in juveniles (Published October 25, 2019, effective November 1, 2019). Gaming Law Review, 24(1), 5153. https://doi.org/10.1089/glr2.2019.0002.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xiao, L. Y. (2021a). Regulating loot boxes as gambling? Towards a combined legal and self-regulatory consumer protection approach. Interactive Entertainment Law Review, 4(1), 2747. https://doi.org/10.4337/ielr.2021.01.02.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xiao, L. Y. (2021b). People’s Republic of China legal update: The notice on further strictly regulating and effectively preventing online video gaming addiction in minors (Published August 30, 2021, effective September 1, 2021). Gaming Law Review, 25(9), 379382. https://doi.org/10.1089/glr2.2021.0026.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xiao, L. Y. (2022). Which implementations of loot boxes constitute gambling? A UK legal perspective on the potential harms of random reward mechanisms. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 20(1), 437454. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-020-00372-3.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xiao, L. Y. , & Henderson, L. L. (2021). Towards an ethical game design solution to loot boxes: A commentary on king and Delfabbro. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 19(1), 177192. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-019-00164-4.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xiao, L. Y. , Henderson, L. L. , & Newall, P. (2021). What are the odds? Lower compliance with western loot box probability disclosure industry self-regulation than Chinese legal regulation. OSF preprints. https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/g5wd9.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xiao, L. Y. , Henderson, L. L. , Nielsen, R. K. L. , Grabarczyk, P. , & Newall, P. W. S. (2021). Loot boxes, gambling-like mechanics in video games. In N. Lee (Ed.), Encyclopedia of computer graphics and games. Springer.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xiao, L. Y. , Henderson, L. L. , Yang, Y. , & Newall, P. W. S. (2021). Gaming the system: Suboptimal compliance with loot box probability disclosure regulations in China. Behavioural Public Policy, 127 Advance Online Publication https://doi.org/10.1017/bpp.2021.23.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xiao, L. Y. , & Newall, P. W. S. (in press). Probability disclosures are not enough: Reducing loot box reward complexity as a part of ethical video game design. Journal of Gambling Issues. Preprint: PsyArXiv. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/nuksd.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zendle, D. , & Cairns, P. (2018). Video game loot boxes are linked to problem gambling: Results of a large-scale survey. Plos One, 13(11), e0206767. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0206767.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zendle, D. , Meyer, R. , Cairns, P. , Waters, S. , & Ballou, N. (2020). The prevalence of loot boxes in mobile and desktop games. Addiction, 115(9), 17681772. https://doi.org/10.1111/add.14973.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zendle, D. , Meyer, R. , & Over, H. (2019). Adolescents and loot boxes: Links with problem gambling and motivations for purchase. Royal Society Open Science, 6, 190049. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.190049.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 国家新闻出版署 [National Press and Publication Administration (PRC)] (2019, October 25). 关于防止未成年人沉迷网络游戏的通知 [Notice on the prevention of online gaming addiction in juveniles] 国新出发〔2019〕34号. http://www.sapprft.gov.cn/sapprft/contents/6588/407807.shtml.

  • 国家新闻出版署 [National Press and Publication Administration (PRC)] (2021b, August 30). 国家新闻出版署有关负责人就《关于进一步严格管理切实防止未成年人沉迷网络游戏的通知》答记者问 [Responses provided by the relevant person in charge at the national press and publication administration to questions posed by journalists in relation to the notice on further strictly regulating and effectively preventing online video gaming addiction in minors]. http://www.nppa.gov.cn/nppa/contents/719/98788.shtml.

    • Search Google Scholar
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  • 国家新闻出版署 [National Press and Publication Administration (PRC)] (2021a, August 30). 国家新闻出版署关于进一步严格管理切实防止未成年人沉迷网络游戏的通知 [Notice of the national press and publication administration on further strictly regulating and effectively preventing online video gaming addiction in minors] 国新出发〔2021〕14号. http://www.nppa.gov.cn/nppa/contents/279/98792.shtml.

  • 문화체육관광부 [Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (South Korea)] (2021, August 24). 게임 셧다운제 폐지, 자율적 선택으로 과몰입 방지 유도 [Abolishing the game shutdown system, encouraging and preventing over-immersion through voluntary choice]. https://www.mcst.go.kr/kor/s_notice/press/pressView.jsp?pSeq=19030.

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The author instruction is available in PDF.
Please, download the file from HERE

Dr. Zsolt Demetrovics
Institute of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University
Address: Izabella u. 46. H-1064 Budapest, Hungary
Phone: +36-1-461-2681
E-mail: jba@ppk.elte.hu

Indexing and Abstracting Services:

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  • EBSCO
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2021  
Web of Science  
Total Cites
WoS
5223
Journal Impact Factor 7,772
Rank by Impact Factor Psychiatry SCIE 26/155
Psychiatry SSCI 19/142
Impact Factor
without
Journal Self Cites
7,130
5 Year
Impact Factor
9,026
Journal Citation Indicator 1,39
Rank by Journal Citation Indicator

Psychiatry 34/257

Scimago  
Scimago
H-index
56
Scimago
Journal Rank
1,951
Scimago Quartile Score Clinical Psychology (Q1)
Medicine (miscellaneous) (Q1)
Psychiatry and Mental Health (Q1)
Scopus  
Scopus
Cite Score
11,5
Scopus
CIte Score Rank
Clinical Psychology 5/292 (D1)
Psychiatry and Mental Health 20/529 (D1)
Medicine (miscellaneous) 17/276 (D1)
Scopus
SNIP
2,184

2020  
Total Cites 4024
WoS
Journal
Impact Factor
6,756
Rank by Psychiatry (SSCI) 12/143 (Q1)
Impact Factor Psychiatry 19/156 (Q1)
Impact Factor 6,052
without
Journal Self Cites
5 Year 8,735
Impact Factor
Journal  1,48
Citation Indicator  
Rank by Journal  Psychiatry 24/250 (Q1)
Citation Indicator   
Citable 86
Items
Total 74
Articles
Total 12
Reviews
Scimago 47
H-index
Scimago 2,265
Journal Rank
Scimago Clinical Psychology Q1
Quartile Score Psychiatry and Mental Health Q1
  Medicine (miscellaneous) Q1
Scopus 3593/367=9,8
Scite Score  
Scopus Clinical Psychology 7/283 (Q1)
Scite Score Rank Psychiatry and Mental Health 22/502 (Q1)
Scopus 2,026
SNIP  
Days from  38
submission  
to 1st decision  
Days from  37
acceptance  
to publication  
Acceptance 31%
Rate  

2019  
Total Cites
WoS
2 184
Impact Factor 5,143
Impact Factor
without
Journal Self Cites
4,346
5 Year
Impact Factor
5,758
Immediacy
Index
0,587
Citable
Items
75
Total
Articles
67
Total
Reviews
8
Cited
Half-Life
3,3
Citing
Half-Life
6,8
Eigenfactor
Score
0,00597
Article Influence
Score
1,447
% Articles
in
Citable Items
89,33
Normalized
Eigenfactor
0,7294
Average
IF
Percentile
87,923
Scimago
H-index
37
Scimago
Journal Rank
1,767
Scopus
Scite Score
2540/376=6,8
Scopus
Scite Score Rank
Cllinical Psychology 16/275 (Q1)
Medicine (miscellenous) 31/219 (Q1)
Psychiatry and Mental Health 47/506 (Q1)
Scopus
SNIP
1,441
Acceptance
Rate
32%

 

Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Publication Model Gold Open Access
Submission Fee none
Article Processing Charge 850 EUR/article
Printed Color Illustrations 40 EUR (or 10 000 HUF) + VAT / piece
Regional discounts on country of the funding agency World Bank Lower-middle-income economies: 50%
World Bank Low-income economies: 100%
Further Discounts Editorial Board / Advisory Board members: 50%
Corresponding authors, affiliated to an EISZ member institution subscribing to the journal package of Akadémiai Kiadó: 100%
Subscription Information Gold Open Access

Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Language English
Size A4
Year of
Foundation
2011
Volumes
per Year
1
Issues
per Year
4
Founder Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem
Founder's
Address
H-1053 Budapest, Hungary Egyetem tér 1-3.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Publisher's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Responsible
Publisher
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 2062-5871 (Print)
ISSN 2063-5303 (Online)

Senior editors

Editor(s)-in-Chief: Zsolt DEMETROVICS

Assistant Editor(s): Csilla ÁGOSTON

Associate Editors

  • Joel BILLIEUX (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)
  • Beáta BŐTHE (University of Montreal, Canada)
  • Matthias BRAND (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany)
  • Luke CLARK (University of British Columbia, Canada)
  • Daniel KING (Flinders University, Australia)
  • Ludwig KRAUS (IFT Institute for Therapy Research, Germany)
  • H. N. Alexander LOGEMANN (ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Astrid MÜLLER (Hannover Medical School, Germany)
  • Marc N. POTENZA (Yale University, USA)
  • Hans-Jurgen RUMPF (University of Lübeck, Germany)
  • Attila SZABÓ (ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Róbert URBÁN (ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Aviv M. WEINSTEIN (Ariel University, Israel)

Editorial Board

  • Max W. ABBOTT (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand)
  • Elias N. ABOUJAOUDE (Stanford University School of Medicine, USA)
  • Hojjat ADELI (Ohio State University, USA)
  • Alex BALDACCHINO (University of Dundee, United Kingdom)
  • Alex BLASZCZYNSKI (University of Sidney, Australia)
  • Judit BALÁZS (ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Kenneth BLUM (University of Florida, USA)
  • Henrietta BOWDEN-JONES (Imperial College, United Kingdom)
  • Wim VAN DEN BRINK (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Gerhard BÜHRINGER (Technische Universität Dresden, Germany)
  • Sam-Wook CHOI (Eulji University, Republic of Korea)
  • Damiaan DENYS (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Jeffrey L. DEREVENSKY (McGill University, Canada)
  • Naomi FINEBERG (University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom)
  • Marie GRALL-BRONNEC (University Hospital of Nantes, France)
  • Jon E. GRANT (University of Minnesota, USA)
  • Mark GRIFFITHS (Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom)
  • Anneke GOUDRIAAN (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Heather HAUSENBLAS (Jacksonville University, USA)
  • Tobias HAYER (University of Bremen, Germany)
  • Susumu HIGUCHI (National Hospital Organization Kurihama Medical and Addiction Center, Japan)
  • David HODGINS (University of Calgary, Canada)
  • Eric HOLLANDER (Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA)
  • Jaeseung JEONG (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Republic of Korea)
  • Yasser KHAZAAL (Geneva University Hospital, Switzerland)
  • Orsolya KIRÁLY (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Emmanuel KUNTSCHE (La Trobe University, Australia)
  • Hae Kook LEE (The Catholic University of Korea, Republic of Korea)
  • Michel LEJOXEUX (Paris University, France)
  • Anikó MARÁZ (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany)
  • Giovanni MARTINOTTI (‘Gabriele d’Annunzio’ University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy)
  • Frederick GERARD MOELLER (University of Texas, USA)
  • Daniel Thor OLASON (University of Iceland, Iceland)
  • Nancy PETRY (University of Connecticut, USA)
  • Bettina PIKÓ (University of Szeged, Hungary)
  • Afarin RAHIMI-MOVAGHAR (Teheran University of Medical Sciences, Iran)
  • József RÁCZ (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary)
  • Rory C. REID (University of California Los Angeles, USA)
  • Marcantanio M. SPADA (London South Bank University, United Kingdom)
  • Daniel SPRITZER (Study Group on Technological Addictions, Brazil)
  • Dan J. STEIN (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Sherry H. STEWART (Dalhousie University, Canada)
  • Attila SZABÓ (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Ferenc TÚRY (Semmelweis University, Hungary)
  • Alfred UHL (Austrian Federal Health Institute, Austria)
  • Johan VANDERLINDEN (University Psychiatric Center K.U.Leuven, Belgium)
  • Alexander E. VOISKOUNSKY (Moscow State University, Russia)
  • Kimberly YOUNG (Center for Internet Addiction, USA)

 

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