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China’s video game panic and its American analogues

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31.08.2021

This week, China banned youth under 18 from playing video games online aside from about three hours a week; youth can only play video games from 8-9 p.m. on weekends or holidays. According to the Chinese government, this was done to reduce addiction issues related to video games.

While Americans will no doubt roundly condemn what they consider the draconian edict of a repressive regime, they must admit: Many here in the land of the free also think playing too many video games is profoundly unhealthy for young people, and while they’d surely stop short of top-down government orders, we are a nation that already bans youth smoking, drinking, driving and a range of other harmful activities. Following the logic, if kids are indeed being corrupted by video games here, stronger medicine — far short of what China’s doing — may be in order.

But is there evidence that video game addiction is real, or is this merely an example of an authoritarian government cracking down on speech?

Scholars are split on whether video game addiction (or more properly “gaming disorder”; addiction language falsely equates these issues with substance abuse) is real or just a moral panic.........

© NY Daily News


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