China is set to bring a new set of harsh regulations into effect on August 1, banning 'unwholesome' content from appearing in online games.

China's Ministry of Culture is aiming to stop any content that advocates pornography, cults, superstitions, gambling and violence being seen in any game that is targeting Chinese teenagers under the age of 18.

Beating gaming addiction

The latest plans to regulate content in online gaming in China have been revealed this week by English-language Chinese news agency Xinhua News.

The Ministry of Culture also wants game creators to develop techniques that will limit the time that players spend in online games, in order to combat gaming addiction.

The regulations were made public on the website of the central government this week. They require online games to be free of content "that would lead to imitation of behavior that violates social morals and the law."

Ban on use of virtual currencies

Minors will be required to register in games using their real names and will also be banned from selling or buying anything within online games using virtual currencies.

The Chinese government made moves to ban 'gold farming' in online games such as World of Warcraft last year, although there are questions over how effective such bans are, in an underground industry that is almost completely unregulated.

The Chinese online games market grew by 40 per cent to £2.6 billion in 2009.

Google pulled out of China earlier this year, in a high-profile move in order to combat Chinese state censorship of its search results.

Via Xinhua News