New report claims youth gaming addiction in China has been “resolved”

The gaming committee of China has declared that the country’s youth are officially freed from video game addiction.

According to a new report by the country’s Game Industry Group Committee, youth gaming addiction in China has been officially resolved. The committee is affiliated with China’s gaming regulator, and cites the country’s crackdown on video games in 2021 — which saw those under 18 limited to under three hours of gaming per week — as the reason for curbing the collective addiction.

The report found around 75% of Chinese youth have now capped their gaming to no more than three hours per week, touting the results as beneficial for the country’s health. Prior to introducing the gaming restrictions last year, a Chinese newspaper described video game addiction as “spiritual opium”. China lists a raft of negative impacts for gaming, including short-sightedness, insomnia and mental ill-health. 

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While China does not look favourably upon the pastime, there’s been evidence that gaming can improve cognitive abilities, hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills. While the report declares the success of youth in limiting their gaming habits, concerns have arisen around gaming addiction among adults, particularly as China continues to go in and out of lockdown. 

In March of this year, it was reported that the Game Industry Group Committee would instate similar limitations to adult gamers, but bans or restrictions have yet to be announced. Having deemed children’s curbed gaming as “a step toward resolution,” the committee is set to ease restrictions among that demographic, with regulators last week approving a new bath of 70 games for release, including one titled Metal Slug: Awakening from Tencent

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Last year, China banned the depiction of same-sex couples in all of their prospective video game titles, with a leaked government memo imploring publishers to reflect “a correct set of values”. Also in 2021, Chinese police seized over $46m in assets and dismantled one of the largest producers of software for video game cheaters.