The “gaming addiction” that supposedly gripped China’s youth has been officially solved by tough gaming restrictions, according to a new report by the China Game Industry Group Committee, which was reported by state media outlets. Announced on data provider CNG’s official WeChat account, the report could lead to an easing of the restrictions that seek to prevent under-18s from gaming more than three hours per week.
According to the report, around 75 percent of Chinese youths have now capped their gaming to this amount, which is leading to a healthier population.
Touted as “spiritual opium”, gaming in youths is thought to result in various negative effects, including myopia, poor concentration, and mental health problems in China. While studies elsewhere have found that gaming does not have a negative impact on wellbeing and in some cases can improve cognitive abilities in certain tasks, the Chinese government does not look favorably on the pastime.
As winter approaches and China continues its “zero COVID policy”, forcing people into lockdown, gaming has been on the increase in adults, and many children hope for an ease to the restrictions. It remains to be seen whether the report will be considered a successful result, or evidence of a policy that is working and shall continue to be implemented.