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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  • 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?