China Cracks Down on Video Game Usage among Minors

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The beginning of September saw new restrictions put in place for video game users in China. The National Press and Publication Administration, the agency responsible for monitoring video games, announced new limits on video game usage for 18-year-olds and under to just three hours of playtime per week. 

Reuters reports China’s new rules are part of the nation’s efforts to combat gaming addiction among its youths. Under-18 users are now only allowed to play from 8 pm to 9 pm Fridays through Sundays and at the same time of day on national holidays. China regards the growing use of video games as “spiritual opium,” and the new rules further curtail the previously allowed 90 minutes of playtime on weekdays and 3 hours on weekends under 2019 rules. 

According to a piece written by Voice of America on the topic, China comprises the world’s largest gaming market, and treatment centers have been established across the country as a response to gaming addiction disorders. 

The new restrictions introduced by the Communist government represent a totalitarian response to a legitimate issue. Studies reveal definite positive correlations between “students’ computer games addiction and their physical and mental health in dimensions of physical health, anxiety, and sleeplessness.” 

Some in the United States view China’s newly announced restrictions as a positive move rather than an overreach of government power. The pandemic has given rise to higher rates of video game usage among American kids, leaving parents to deal with growing addictions and the subsequent social impact of video game usage on their children. Rather than allowing the government to make such decisions, however, parents remain fully responsible for setting healthy boundaries for their children’s technology use. And here in America, we ought to keep it that way. 

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Aly is a military spouse and mom to two. She has a special interest in international security and foreign affairs, having lived overseas, worked with Sister Cities International and served as a commissioning editor for an international relations website. Aly holds a Masters in Global Studies and International Relations from Northeastern University and currently resides in Tennessee.
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