Video games could be as powerful as any other traditional sport as long as children are under the effective guidance of society.
Esports is an emerging industry in the world with a relatively short history. It’s a business world built around video games. Even though video games are virtual, the user experience and their products, with the help of technologies like facial recognition and virtual reality, are super real.
In the world of esports, pros can start their career as young as 13 years old. Physical sports require athletes complete adolescence turn professional because athletes’ bodies need to mature to be ready for high-level performance. However, esports players retire earlier than physical athletes. While most athletes retire in their late 30s or early 40s, esports gamers peak in their early 20s and retire in mid twenties.
In recent years, the industry has grown rapidly in places like China, Korea, and North America. According to market research by Niko Partners, in 2020, China was the largest video game market in the world with around 720 million gamers. Around 110 million were under the age of 18.
However, the rapid development of electronic sports has revealed many negative issues related to children, such as gambling addiction and violent behavior. This prompted China to announce some new rules to prevent video game addiction in children.
On January 18, 2022, Chinese tech giant Tencent announced a strict 2-hour weekly limit for children under 18 during the winter holidays. The four-week winter break during Chinese New Year brings an influx of teen games, which the country hopes to avoid.
I think this new regulation is unreasonable. I started playing video games when I was in middle school, and I was a good student. I could only play video games when my homework was done and on vacation. For me, two hours a day was far from the maximum number of hours I could play, especially during holidays. Because video games are time consuming. That’s why I don’t agree with the new laws. The new rule allows children to play for only half an hour a day. For games like League of Legends, half an hour isn’t even enough time to complete a match.
This argument is based on the premise that playing video games does not teach children anything. I do not agree. Even beyond fun, video games have provided me with so many other things, like problem solving, social connection, and creativity. When I played MOBA games like League, I learned the importance of teamwork and how to stay calm and find solutions under duress.
The purpose of this settlement is to prevent video game addiction and improve mental and physical health, but I don’t think it would work that way. Video games are just one aspect of people’s lives. In the age of the Internet, there are so many things that can affect children’s development, such as TV shows, movies, and board games. If a reduction in time spent playing video games could definitely become time to learn or exercise, then these penalties would make sense. However, no one can guarantee that this would happen. When I was younger and not allowed to play video games for long periods of time, I tried to do other things like watch TV—not read. I’ve never heard of time restrictions on TV shows or movie consumption for kids, so this won’t work for esports regulations.
There’s no doubt that video games could be addictive for those out of control. But everything has its positive and negative parts. I believe there are better ways to limit screen time for kids without removing the integral aspects that make video games fun. Video games and other aspects of children’s lives are closely linked. For example, the vivid animation effects of video game characters stimulate creativity. I believe we can make good use of its strengths.
Children should be allowed to play for more than half an hour a day during holidays. There’s too much pressure on kids’ shoulders these days to do well in school, and playing is a great way to relax. Instead of directly limiting child screening time, the government and tech giants should give more thought to what activities should replace this period. Above all, video games must not become a stigmatized act. Everything is a double sword, as well as video games. As long as the whole society guides children to use the game correctly, it will be a great tool to educate children and enrich their lives.
While the world is witnessing a gradual de-stigmatization of the game, there is still work to be done to keep it that way.