China mulls curbing minors' online game addiction

Beijing, Feb 18 (IANS) Chinese authorities have decided to develop a China-specific criteria for diagnosing minors' addiction of online games, Xinhua reported.

A special work plan, jointly issued by 15 ministry-level authorities, Sunday gave a call to researchers to develop tools to identify early stages of potential addiction for facilitating early intervention for minors.

It was observed if cases were assessed based on imported criteria developed for groups with different cultural and social backgrounds, it could result in misdiagnosis.

Statistics from the China Internet Network Information Centre show, the country online gaming population was estimated at around 330 million last June, and approximately 150 million of the Internet users are believed to be below 19 years of age.

China's online gaming industry took in revenue worth 24.84 billion yuan ($4 billion) in the first half of 2012.

However, minors' addiction to online gaming has caused serious social problems, which sometimes lead to juvenile crimes, said a Ministry of Culture official requesting annonymity.

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