In July, we reported that over 70 percent of Chinese minors suffer from myopia and with no sign of the situation improving the government is set to take action. This means, addressing the number one cause of the problem – video games.
According to a report from The Star, the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with seven state departments, issued a notice on August 30. In the report, they cover prevention and gaining control over the rate of adolescents' suffering from nearsightedness. This also includes reducing the myopia rate in youth by at least 2.5 percent by 2023.
To reach this goal several requirements and recommendations have been announced. In addition to regular demands such as increasing the duration of outdoor activities and improving lighting conditions of classrooms, the other measurements target video games.
Among them, the most controversial would be a limit on the number of new games released to the market. Although the notice didn't state the exact limit, the new regulation has already taken a toll on the domestic games industry with many game makers' shares plummeting in value the day after the notice was released. For instance, the shares of Tecent, the biggest game distributor in China, went down 4.87 percent in merely one day, reports The Paper.
Other measurements in the notice, which were directed at video games, include limiting the playing time for adolescents and exploring a game rating system which conforms to the national conditions of China.
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This attempt is not the first time a regulation has been released to deter minors from becoming addicted to video games. According to The Paper, back in 2007, an online anti-indulged system was introduced to reduce kids' everyday game time down to five hours. Nevertheless, the regulation has little effect since students can register multiple accounts to avoid the block.
Without a doubt, these new regulations towards video games are mostly welcomed by parents, as the notice can effectively reduce the screen time for kids and hence increase the times spent outdoors.
That being said, some netizens think the new regulation is nothing but another attempt to evade responsibility. "There is nothing wrong about video games," one netizen writes on The Paper. "What matters is how we guide our little ones. Some parents tend to blame video games for nearsightedness or even lowering their kids' grades instead of trying to find the primary cause. It's just lazy.”
[Cover image via Pexels]