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    China’s crackdown is not the way to deal with video games

    Game update

    The introduction of new technologies often causes moral panic. Socrates warned The writing reduced comprehension. In the 19th century Passengers were worried that the woman’s womb might pop out of her body If they travel too fast by train.And lobbyist Jack Valenti told US Congress Videocassette recorders were as dangerous as the Boston Strangler.

    China’s crackdown on video games needs to be added to that list. This was criticized in a recent article on state media (later deleted). “Spiritual opium“. on Monday, National Press and Publication Administration All children under the age of 18 are banned from playing online video games at any time except Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays from 8 pm to 9 pm. The game company was told to stop children from playing outside these periods and make sure that the real name verification system was in place. Shares in China’s Tencent, the world’s largest creator of video games, have officially fallen into the news.

    Tired parents who sometimes yell at teens to quit miserable computer games and do more useful things may be sneaking in sympathy for the move. However, China’s crackdown is a barbaric overreaction and can turn out to be ridiculously difficult to implement. Try to stop devising a number of great workarounds so that smart teenagers can continue to play their favorite games.

    In a political system where all decisions must be seen through the prism of Chinese Communist rule, there must be suspicion that this ban is about limiting alternative sources of influence as much as protecting the welfare of children. not.Also form part of Broader regulatory crackdown For powerful high-tech companies.

    But it’s foolish to deny that there are real concerns about video games. Somewhat controversial, World Health Organization In 2018, I recognized Internet game addiction as a disease. To be diagnosed, the behavioral pattern is “severe enough to cause serious disability in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, or other important functional areas for at least one year. “must be. More recent report from Harris The polling organization found that 72% of people who played multiplayer games witnessed toxic behaviors such as abuse and harassment.

    We need to be proactive in addressing these concerns. But as cultural anthropologist Genevieve Bell explainedThe way this has happened historically is for society to slowly develop new norms to shape the use of technology and more acceptable behavior. This is certainly already happening in video games.Government introduces Wise regulation. Age limits apply to violent games. Parents and teachers, many of whom are game players, develop their own rules. Children learn among themselves that video games can be a waste of time. The therapist helps keep players away from serious addiction.

    One 6 year study A study of the impact of video games on adolescents found that it did not cause any harm or long-term adverse effects on 90% of users. “I really like a lot of video games,” says Saracoin, a professor at Brigham Young University and the lead author of the study. “Computer games help teenagers connect, especially during a pandemic.”

    Pro-social games can bring social, spiritual, and educational benefits, Coyne says. It also helps older people to combat cognitive decline. But video games also have a dark side. In particular, she suggests that gaming companies must be encouraged to balance their desire to make money from addictive games with their social responsibility.

    It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that moral panics about video games partially reflect older generations of timeless concerns about technologies they rarely use or understand.This phenomenon was memorably captured by writer Douglas Adams. With his three technology rules:

    1. Everything in the world when you are born is normal and mundane, and is just a natural part of how the world works.

    2. Everything invented between the ages of 15 and 35 is new, exciting and innovative, and you can probably build your career in it.

    3. Everything invented after the age of 35 goes against the natural order of things.

    As our children grow up, they will see video games as just a natural part of how the world works. They will undoubtedly recognize them as an escapist pastime rather than an electronic drug.

    john.thornhill@ft.com

    China’s crackdown is not the way to deal with video games Source link China’s crackdown is not the way to deal with video games

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