Home >> Hot Issue

Internet time limit a benefit for kids of all ages

Updated: 2021-09-16 08:22 ( China Daily )
Share - WeChat

The recent government proposal to limit the playing of video games among the under 18s is the type of socially responsible policy needed in an era where all of us have the potential to over-immerse ourselves in our screens and digital content. And also, it gives oldies like me a chance at finally "winning" while playing video games online.

To clarify, I'm not what could be described as a "hardcore gamer", but I do dabble from time to time in playing video games on rainy days, when my hydrophobia and refusal to use an umbrella forbid me from going out.

What this means is though, that because I haven't been "grinding" (a term for performing repetitive tasks over long hours to gain experience or achievements in a particular video game), I tend to be at a huge disadvantage when competing online.

Unlike when I was growing up in the 1980s and '90s, there is far less stigmatization around gaming today, and today's kids are raised in an environment that is entirely digital, and so, in many ways, they are becoming digitally proficient from when they are babies.

It puts xennials, people who were born on the cusp between Generation X and the millennials, those who grew up with an analog childhood and a digital adulthood, at a distinct disadvantage when competing online against younger generations. Don't get me started on people of my parents' generation, where the sending of an email is equal to the achievement of successfully explaining what a VHS tape is to someone born in the late '90s.

So cutting children's screen time to no more than 3 hours a week on the weekend is a good thing. Not only does it confront gaming addiction in youngsters, but it levels the playing field for guys like me.

On a serious note though, spending time away from our screens from time to time is not only good for kids' health, but everyone's. A plethora of maladies are associated with overusing our digital devices, from eye health and repetitive strain injury to addiction and issues of mental health.

It's not just gaming that is creating unwanted pressure and health problems among China's children. The government has also introduced a new proposal to limit the amount of after-school education kids can attend, especially during holidays and festivals, when we all know kids should be having fun.

This proposal addresses the huge pressure parents and their children face in "competing" in the education rat race-something that is also having a negative effect on the lives and health of children.

Outside critics have called these moves "aggressive crackdowns", rather than what they actually are, social policy aimed at improving the well-being of Chinese children. Policies aimed at a generation who don't have the same voice or clout when it comes to public opinion or governmental influence.

That is except when they are playing video games, killing my online persona and stealing all my hard-earned loot, causing me to quit and sulk for half an hour on a rainy Saturday. They are just too good. So, I for one welcome the gaming ban, long may it remain in place!

Editor's Pick
Hot words
Most Popular