Concerted efforts required to curb game addiction


China’s online game users reached 484 million by the end of 2018, according to a report released by the China Internet Network Information Center.

Alongside this surge in users, addiction to gaming has become a real problem, especially among teenagers, who often have less self-control than their adult counterparts. A study shows that 27.5 percent of teenagers aged between 12 and 16 years old suffer from gaming addiction.

A lack of other interests, outdoor activities and good communication with parents and schoolmates prompts teenagers to spend too much time playing games, reasoned Lu Lin, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Beijing Huilongguan Hospital established a specialized medical center in 2018 to treat teenagers addicted to video games. This year, the hospital set up rooms equipped with sports and recreation facilities to help patients beat addiction in a relaxed environment.

Experts pointed out that dealing with video game addiction requires the government, schools, families and gaming companies to work together.

The State Council encouraged gaming companies to develop both educational and enjoyable video games for teenagers in an official paper released in July. The document is intended to curb the number of online games available to children and limit their time playing games.

Parents should communicate more often with their children and keep them company. They could also help kids manage their time better and avoid overindulgence in video gaming. Schools need to teach students about the negative impacts of addiction and show them that playing video games isn’t harmful if done in moderation.