China faces an unlikely enemy, the rise of obsessive gaming
China is now suffering from a weird phenomenon, something that the country's traditional approach or regulations have not prepared it for.
Its youth are addicted to "Honour of Kings" game and the consequences of it are unpleasant. There's a fine line between passion and obsession. When someone crosses that line, things don't go well.
Gaming addiction is real and China is paying its price.
What about the rest?
Recently, Tencent Holdings has capped the time limit for youngsters to play their top-grossing online game "Honour of Kings." According to parents, young kids were hooked to it and neglected their real life to be a part of this virtual world.
This craze is, however, not limited to youngsters. In China, gamers are spending unhealthy hours on this game, shutting themselves off from reality.
Escapism is always easy
This popular mobile game in China has around 55 million daily active users. To some, it's their full-time occupation. The choice is simple, be a power yielding persona in the virtual world or be one regular Joe in the real world.
Escapism is an easier path to walk on. Ironically, this obsession is causing some grievous real world trauma to the addicted gamers.
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What is at stake?
The game is free to download. Tencent makes money from the add-ons. Do you want a shiny bit of armor or an extra edge over your competitor? Pay up.
The game is highly competitive and trinkets smoothen the way. It's been estimated that half of these 55 million users are below 24 years of age. How are these kids getting the money?
Stealing for online supremacy
Well, they are stealing it. People's Daily of China didn't only cite several examples of teenagers stealing money to pay for this game's add-ons but an alleged case of suicide was also reported.
There is a reason behind this madness. Since more than half of their social circle is playing this game, if one doesn't, he/she becomes the awkward one.
There will always be loopholes
South China Morning Post reports that the new limits imposed will do little to change how the things are right now. Young gamers are planning to bypass this time limit by using other names to register into the game or are simply using other people's account to play.
China is at the crossroads. You can't stop gaming but it's your duty to prevent addiction.