China has cracked down on their video game industries, and as of Sept. 1, 2021, all Chinese minors under the age of 18 are restricted to only three hours of gaming maximum per week and can only play on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8 PM to 9 PM.
However harsh this policy may seem, it may be justified by the gaming addiction “epidemic” in China, and its negative effect on the health of gaming addicts.
Although China is the first country to really regulate video games, gaming addiction is a global problem. More than three billion people worldwide play video games.
Video games could be a cause of increased obesity across the world, which has been on the rise in recent years, making it a major concern for the World Health Organization.
Those who play video games excessively are less likely to go outside, which is a key component of staying healthy.
Gaming for long hours can be harmful to eyesight.
Staring at screens for long periods of time can cause eye strain, like many people experienced during the era of online school.
Not only do video games affect physical health, but they also put mental health at risk as well.
The next generation has grown up around technology, and it has become normal to for them to be using devices even in social settings.
This decreased face-to-face interaction has been found to contribute to social anxiety, depression and loneliness.
Even though new technology has given the world more ways than ever to connect, today’s youth struggle to form physical relationships.
According to a study done by Cigna, a global health service company, Gen Z is the loneliest generation.
Another negative impact of video games is cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is a common occurrence in online gaming servers, and can be harmful to the mental health of the players.
Cyberbullying is often even more vicious than physical bullying because the anonymity makes it less likely for the bully to be held responsible for what they said or did, therefore making them feel enabled to spew malicious words.
Additionally, discrimination or harrassment of girls when they game online with other players is not uncommon.
Therefore, the new regulation on the amount of hours Chinese minors can play video games may help minimize cyberbullying as well.
In theory, it seems like there will be positive psychological and physical effects on China’s youth.
However, only time will tell whether this new law will actually benefit the youth, as well as how well they will adjust to a life without video games.