China Restricts Video Game Use, As U.S. Media Usage Explodes

Is your child's learning ability being compromised by too much video game activity? Maybe not. But what happens if you add other media platforms?

In China, government officials believe video-game use is a problem, and it will restrict the daily time of kids' video game play. New rulesallow kids to play three hours per week -- down drastically from the current hour-and-a-half per day and three hours on “public holidays.”

This restriction applies to those below 18 years old and is in effect between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Video-game play will also be allowed on public holidays.

China officials have called video gaming a “social problem” and a “spiritual opium.”

In this country, of course, things are different. Play 24/7 -- at any age -- if you, your brain and your parents agree.



U.S. video game time appears to be all over the map. One recent survey says more than half of all gamers (51%) played slightly more than seven a half hours per week, with 76% of U.S. children (under 18 years old ) being video-game players.

An earlier 2017 study estimates that 66% of tweens ages 8 to 12 play video games for an average of 2 hours per day, while 56% of teens ages 13 to 17 play for an average of 2.5 hours per day.

We know the yin and yang of all media usage -- and its long history.

Parents, educators and others have complained about the effect on kids in previous generations -- in the '50s, '60s, '70s -- pointing to cognitive issues as a result of excessive traditional TV watching, as well as talking on landline telephones.

Due to the explosion of media choices, as well as the complex issues of insisting workers and students (young and old) use learning tools from screen-based devices -- desktops, laptops, tablets, etc. -- the issues have become more complicated.

People’s need to use "media" screens isn’t going to stop.

So what kind of restrictions will China have on media use for children and teens in future years -- when the next form of media, beyond video games -- capture their imagination, and apparent addiction?

Next story loading loading..