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Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Gamers Find Gaps in China's Anti-Addiction Efforts

by Louisa Lim

Imagine this: You're playing your favorite Internet game and, suddenly, a warning flashes onto the screen. You've been playing for three hours, it says, so it's time to get some exercise. If you ignore it, the total points you've won in the past three hours will be halved. After five hours of uninterrupted play, your points will be wiped out.

That's the scenario in China, where anti-addiction software is supposed to protect gamers under the age of 18. But it hasn't been an unqualified success.

One weekday night, about 30 anxious parents sit on plastic chairs in a hall, listening intently to a speaker. She's introducing a weeklong camp designed to wean their children off Internet games.

"If I restrict him, he only plays games for two or three hours a day. If I let him do what he wants, he'd play from the morning until night," says one mother, describing her struggle to control her 14-year-old son's game-playing time.

China's one-child policy has indirectly led to this problem – spawning a generation of spoiled, but lonely, only children. The burden of parental expectation upon these children is often intense – as was once the case with another mother and her 18-year-old son. He now plays games for 10 hours a day.
From NPR. More at http://www.npr.org/...php?storyId=13897858

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