Chinese State Media Calls Video Games 'Spiritual Opium'

Posted on August 3, 2021

There are plenty of avid Chinese gamers and big Chinese-based video game publishers like Tencent. Video games do not appear favored by the Chinese government which recently referred to video games as "spiritual opium" in a Chinese government owned media outlet called Economic Information Daily.

Kotaku reports that The Economic Information Daily is run by China's Xinhua News Agency, a tightly controlled government news agency. The New York Times reports that shares of Tencent have been falling over concerns the labeling of video games as a drug could mean bans and restrictions will soon follow.

The Times says there was a Tencent statement describing some curbs on young people playing video games it already has in place. It remains to be seen if the words connected to the Chinese government will be followed with major restrictions. Gamers in China are likely hoping they are not. Tencent investors are also hoping regulators stay out of the gaming business.

Reuters says some limitations have been placed on minors playing Honor of Kings.

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