China plans to further Restrict Online Games to Prioritize Health in Children

by Sammy Chan
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China is freezing approvals for new games to release in the country since March. This is actually an effort to counter the addiction and myopia problem prominent in its youth. The next course of action for them is to control the total number of online games available in the country. This is to encourage the youth to follow the required guideline given by China’s Ministry of Education, which is ‘not to exceed 15 minutes on an electronic device for non-learning purposes’. Though rather drastic, China’s current situation makes it a requirement. The Ministry is stressing so much on their implementation plan due to this situation, which I will explain. 

The Future of it’s People

China’s myopia (nearsightedness) problem has been exponentially growing the past few decades. In Hong Kong, 87% of young adults have nearsightedness. For comparison, that percentage was only 30% in the 1950’s. The spike in myopia patients occurred for those born within 1950 and 1980. The drastic surplus of myopia cases occurred alongside the age of technological advancement. Exposure to televisions, handphones and a variety of new electronic devices could have been the cause behind this. Additionally, children, teenagers and young adults are spending more time in front of a screen opposed to under the sun. This means that these growing individuals are not getting the sunlight their eyes need to properly develop their eyesight.
Imperfect eyesight isn’t the end of China’s problems. 61 million children in China are reportedly dropping out of schools. This contributes to China’s workforce having one of the lowest amount of human capital and technological skill. Gaming addiction is not entirely to be blamed for this, however it is a contributing factor and needs to be handled accordingly.

Gaming companies affected

The implementation plan may be out of goodwill for the people and the nation, however it’s not without its costs. China powerhouse gaming companies, Tencent and Netease, saw a 5% drop in shares. Tencent, as you may know, is responsible for the mobile version of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. As if they weren’t having enough trouble with monetizing their games.

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