China: 4 Million Youths Addicted to 'Unhealthy' Internet Games

By Blake Ellison, Aug 29, 2008 4:28pm PDT Over 4 million of China's youth are addicted to what the state deems "unhealthy" online games, claims a Chinese lawmaker.

The 4 million represent ten percent of Chinese internet users under 18, according to the AFP. The term "unhealthy games" could refer to any number online games including Blizzard's World of Warcraft, which boasts millions of subscribers in China. The same games were called "spiritual opium" by another Chinese lawmaker earlier this year.

In the announcement, the Chinese government calls for hard-coded time limits in games and stricter content monitoring in games. Previously, the government has tried a number of methods to curb internet addiction, including cybercafe age and time limits.

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15 Threads | 19 Comments

  • I'm an ex-mmo user and for 2 years now, "healthy" gamer. I can safely say that I've lived more in 22 years than majority of 35 year olds have [there isn't enough room here for my life story]. I don't attack your intelligence because you've lost 2% multiplied by x decades of your brain, so don't attack my experience based on age. I don't think it's the government, nor the studios responsibility to keep your kids off of MMO's. IT'S YOUR'S YOU IRRESPONSIBLE ****** ******! I'm just using common sense here, but if the kid is messed up it's one of three things. Environmental factors have scarred him, his genes has messed him up or your parenting sucks. The latter is more common that it ought to be. MMO's are unhealthy and majority of the kids playing it have parents who are at best ignorant of what exactly MMO's do to kids and at worst SUCK AT BEING PARENTS. Take it or leave it, but that's the rawest the truth will get!

  • to address all of your bs comments about Chinese government above.

    Let me ask you 2 questions.
    1. Are you over age of 25 at all?
    2. Have you actually lived in China mainland for more than 3-5 years?

    If your answers are yes then I'd like to hear a more detailed view of why you think Chinese government shouldn't restrict online gaming to a certain degree.

    if your answers are no, then I can very much say that you know nothing about Chinese, and absolutely no clue about China itself.

    All of you ppl here talk about "Human rights and freedom". To what degree is human right and freedom?
    Is it being able to do whatever you want called freedom, including senseless killing? Or having 10+ kids and have the mother sit at home like an old fat chicken is the "human right" that you are talking about?

    I am a Chinese (lived there for 18 yrs), and I live in US (8 yrs to present). If you want me to choose between US and China from 'freedom' perspective, I'd go for China instead. I've heard lots people talking about how Chinese government is Communist party etc. I stayed quiet, but I was laughing at those idiots from bottom of my heart.

    Think about it this way. If you have kids, and they hog their video games all day long, and even skip school to play those game. What would you think of video games?
    If you think it is ok, then by all means it is your choice for destroying your kids' future.

    Gaming in a degree is unhealthy, even internet itself is unhealthy to a degree. Here is an hilarious example happened in US. A mother with 2 sons. the mother stay on facebook all day long. When the judge asked the mother why she is not fulfilling her duty as mother, she acted innocent and asked her sons this: "Did I not grow you 2 up? Did I not make breakfast, lunch, and dinner for you 2?" Those 2 kids answered this: "Yes you did, but that was all you did."

    In the case of Chinese government restrict online gaming (not to shut it down completely), it actually wants to make kids to go to school, take classes, have a better education instead of thinking of how to beat the next monster.

    About online monitoring, I'd say it was a fairly good move. Take US for example, search with google you can find LOTs explicit hardcore images, is that cool for kids? Personally I do not think so. I tends to think online shouldn't be that exposed of course a certain degree of freedom must be employed.

    Well this is my 2c for all of yall.

    I'd be glad to have a deep argument over this if some1 here can post more constructive and deep thought comments. Today I am in a hurry, next time I will take my time to answer all.

    Regards Wei


  • Is this really a surprise? It started here stateside with bad parents and lazy lawyers using videogames as a scapegoat, now other countries are picking up on the big blame fad and swinging what's left of the dead horse around in some half-assed attempt to draw attention away from their human rights violations.

    Does it occur to anyone that the reason online gaming is so popular in China is because the people there desperately need an escape from the harsh reality they live in every day?

    Perhaps improving the quality of life and acknowledging basic human rights might have an effect on this epidemic of unhealthy gaming?