Saviors of the world, or bad kids?
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.”