Joel Martinsen at the always informative Danwei.org has posted a few translated comments recently made by Kou Xiaowei, vice-director of the A/V and internet division of GAPP (General Administration of Press and Publications), taking back an earlier statement that there would be a "real-name" system imposed on online gaming, similar to other mandatory registration systems on the way for blogs, message boards, and online music and video sites. Actually, he didn’t so much take it back as outright deny that any such statement had ever been made. Danwei has more:
At last year’s conference, Kou Xiaowei had this to say:
A "real-name system" has three sub-systems: One, a registration system that discriminates according to ID information; Two, an inquiry system that is open to the community and can allow parents to check whether their children are playing games; Three, a confirmation system that has the cooperation of the PSB to confirm the registered information.
A "real-name system" will definitely be written into law.
When it was floated last year, the "real name" system encountered resistance from adult gamers who resented being subject to the same rules and fatigue systems as minors. But with a few age-related changes, the identification portion of the anti-addiction system that Kou expects to be implemented industry-wide in April or May is basically identical to the one he spoke of last year.
As it turns out, the real denial isn’t that there will be a system requiring online gamers to submit their real names and identity numbers — that’s definitely going through — it’s that it won’t be called a "real name system" (实名制). You really have to admire the sheer chutzpah here, but while the government has shown an increased effort to inject PR into its message, it is light years behind its net-savvy citizens.