• Investigative Reporting

China's War on Video Games

Kids are addicted to Video Games. China calls that a health crisis. So they restrict how much the kids can play. They actually monitor what the kids are doing on their own phone. How much should Government be allowed to control in our lives ? if they feel it is for our own good, should they have the right to rule our every movement.

What do you think ?


Freedom Voice

investigative-reporting.org


The newest development in the Chinese government’s reach to control every aspect of their citizen’s lives comes in the form of increasingly harsh restrictions on play time for minors. Minors who play online video games in China are already forced to register with their real name so companies can keep track of them as well as face huge restrictions regarding how long they can play. As of the week of August 30th, Chinese gamers under the age of 18 can only play 3 hours a week with those hours being 8-9 PM on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with special exceptions for public holidays. Not only is this controlling in that they are restricted to how long they can play, but this goes as far as to tell them when they are allowed to play.


China controls kids video game playing
China makes laws on kids playing video games

You may be asking yourself why any of this matters. It matters because of the greater implications that decisions like these have on the individual freedoms of the average person living in China. If the government can freely control how minors spend their free time to such a degree that they are even told when they are allowed to play games and for how long, how much freedom do they even have left. These restrictions are partly the result of parents complaining about online gaming addiction and how it makes it difficult for their children to study as well as leading to social problems and physical/mental health issues. While addiction is a legitimate problem, this approach to solving it places all the blame in the court of the video game companies and their products while absolving the parents and failing to address the real issues as to why this type of thing occurs.


Entertainment mediums can become addicting for many different reasons as they provide many with an escape from their real life problems, present people with communities of like minded people online, or even just become a hobby similar to playing a sport. With the stigma that exists around games and the negative health effects that dedicating too much time into them can have however, games become an incredibly easy scapegoat for the state of living that can lead an individual to become addicted. It’s much easier to blame video games and remove them than it is to address the fact that other things about the way life in China is right now may be causing people to want to find an escape.


One of the key complaints from parents was that online gaming was cutting into studying time. The fact that this was one of the main points showcases one of the possible problems. With such an emphasis on studying and education, minors lack free time to begin with. Since they lack free time, it becomes valuable and they will find a greater comfort or enjoyment in whatever activity they choose to fill that free time with. Herein lies the problem with this approach and also why it may be more damaging than you may think. Removing the freedom to play video games will not resolve the addiction problem China’s youth is facing. It may redirect them towards other mediums or force them to find ways around the restrictions. Removing the freedom to play games will however be another further example of the Chinese government’s attacks on both private industry and private lives. If they can control the little free time that the Chinese youth has, they can continue to grow their influence into the lives of every citizen and continue with the normality of government control over the life of the individual.


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