Sav­iors of the world, or bad kids?

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By YANG WANLI

Young­sters who play video games ex­ces­sively or spend large parts of their leisure time in game cen­ters equate to “bad kids, bad habits” for many par­ents and teach­ers in China.

Zhu Guizhen, a 56-year-old re­tired teacher who taught at a pri­mary school in Kun­ming, Yun­nan prov­ince, from 1979 to 2013, said video games can have pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive ef­fects on chil­dren.

How­ever, she con­ceded that in her ex­pe­ri­ence chil­dren who played video games ex­ces­sively usu­ally per­formed poorly in their stud­ies.

Al­though she agreed that play­ing games at home is ac­cept­able, Zhu urged greater parental guid­ance. “The time al­lo­cated for play­ing video games should be lim­ited and the games should be ap­pro­pri­ate for kids, and not fea­ture vi­o­lence or sex­ual themes,” she said.

In Bei­jing, reg­u­lar videogame par­ties, usu­ally held at game cen­ters or in restau­rants, pro­vide play­ers with op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­change tips and ex­pe­ri­ences. Al­though most in­volve 20 or 30 play­ers, large par­ties can see as many as 500 peo­ple.

“Al­though the play­ers of­ten meet for the first time at th­ese par­ties, they al­ways trust each other and even ex­change ma­chines, which can be worth more than 6,000 yuan ($992),” said Ma Tianyi, a video-game re­tailer in Bei­jing.

He said some play­ers re­al­ize their fan­tasies via games, by res­cu­ing those in need, or sav­ing the world from catas­tro­phe. “They be­come emo­tion­ally in­volved in the games and learn about courage in the process.”

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