China limits time on video games: What do you think?

“What do you think?” is a series of articles asking the opinion of others on different subjects, rather than having the writers share their opinion. Each “What do you think?” segment will share information on a different topic and provide an opportunity for readers to answer a related interactive poll question at the end of the article.


Guess it is “game over” for some gamers in China. The Chinese government has banned people under 18 from playing video games for more than three hours a week. According to the official China news agency, minors will only be allowed to play on weekends or public holidays for an hour. Minors will only be able to play for one hour between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. at night. This law was put into place on Sept. 1.

Video game consoles like Playstation are being used to a limited extent in China (NADIA CENICEROS/Ethic news)

Before this law was decided, in 2019, minors were only allowed to play for only 90 minutes on weekdays and three hours on weekends. China is blaming video games for children having nearsightedness, addiction and laziness. Parents were concerned about their children because they were “becoming too addicted to the game” and it is “affecting their mental and physical health.” Children can find their way around this ban so the Chinese government has asked all families to cooperate to prevent kids from playing longer. Officials say that this will help kids to get better grades and to be more focused.  New laws will now be issued at local schools, putting specific requirements so students do not play video games.

Citrus Valley High School students Marquille Glenn (left) and Brooklyn Lane (right) answer a whiteboard question. The whiteboard question was “Is there such a thing as ‘playing video games too much?’” (JASMINE ROSALES/Ethic News Photo)

Tencent, a multinational conglomerate company and the largest video game company in China, have sent out a statement on the situation. The company said that they have been working on “various new technologies and functions for the protection of minors” since 2017. The company also said they will “continue as Tencent strictly abides by and actively implements the latest requirements from Chinese authorities.” The Chinese government has required minors to register for games with their real names.

Caleab Losee, a junior at Citrus Valley, answers a whiteboard question.  (JASMINE ROSALES/Ethic News Photo)

The National Press and Publication Association, also known as the NPPA, is the regulator which approves video game titles. The NPPA have made all video games connect to an “anti-addiction” system that is operated by the association.  Xi Jinping, the current Chinese president, had said three months earlier how gaming can make children unsuccessful in their academic classes and warned publicly about the endangerment of youth video game addiction. This statement caused the NPPA to consider the situation.

Citrus Valley students Ashlyn Gaines (left) and Madalyn Higham (right) answer a whiteboard question.  (JASMINE ROSALES/Ethic News Photo)

Some of the citizens have very different opinions on this new rule. Some American citizens believe that China will become better in their education and more children in China will succeed more than Americans. According to The Edvocate, Chinese students “outperform American students.” The Edvocate explains that China focuses more on “fundamental understanding of calculations” while American education focuses on “creativity and how the student will use the knowledge in society.” This causes more students in China to do better in the education system than students in America.

Amelia Cox, a student at Citrus Valley, answers a whiteboard question. (JASMINE ROSALES/Ethic News Photo)

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