Face Off: Should there be a limit on the time teens spend playing video games?

Shruti KaurHilary Li
  • Each week, two of our readers debate a hot topic in a debate that doesn’t necessarily reflect their personal viewpoint
  • This week, students discuss whether there should be limits on how long kids can game
Shruti KaurHilary Li |

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The guy is playing on the console

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FOR: Hilary Li, 16, Island School

When you think of video games, what are the words that spring to your mind? Addiction? Failure? This is because video games are connected to negative outcomes. For example, some teenage gamers develop an addiction, leading to an unhealthy lifestyle. They don’t eat or sleep properly and cannot concentrate in school. They may not do their homework, have no friends, or skip extracurricular activities.

Many parents have admitted that their children are spending far too much time playing video games.

Some teenagers have no sense of self-control, but this is the perfect time to learn about the rules of life. Therefore, boundaries need to be set for them to establish a good routine which will help them to flourish in the future.

China limits online gaming to three hours a week for kids

Gaming doesn’t just affect a person’s future; it affects their present lifestyle, too.

Developing an addiction for video games creates health issues such as obesity and many illnesses.

Imagine this: a teenager willingly decides to, instead of going to the mall to have lunch with friends, voluntarily lock themselves in their room just to play video games. Social interaction is vital for everyone. Your friends can give you emotional support which can boost your mental health. Friends promote a sense of safety to allow you to confide in them and vice versa.

Some may think no one needs friends but it has been scientifically proven that people with friends tend to be happier because they lift your spirits.

I believe video gaming time for teenagers should be limited to ensure they lead a balanced lifestyle, with priority being given to their school work. Otherwise, they will think they have the freedom to do whatever they want without consequences.

Female gamers are fighting sexism in the industry

Against: Shruti Kaur, 16, YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College

It’s true that there has been a rapid growth of the video gaming industry in many countries around the world.

To combat the problem, China has recently forbidden under-18s from playing video games for more than three hours a week.

But the question is: Have we really considered the benefits of playing video games?

Being a student is often stressful, and it comes with a need for dedication as well as a balanced lifestyle.

For many, video games are an escape during the pandemic

Often, gaming can help improve students’ mood and allow them to better concentrate on their studies in the long term.

Hence, limiting gaming time is an obstacle for teenagers who are looking to relax after a tough day at school.

Also, it could lead to an increase in conflicts and a lack of trust between parents and children.

Parents talk about independence for teenagers. Clear family rules will help children understand where the limits are and help to keep them safe.

Gaming can be good for your mental health

What’s more, some children may be very shy and lack the social skills required to communicate with their peers in real life.

In this case, gaming may allow them to make new friends. Video gaming is important to a student’s development and should not be looked down upon. I do agree that excessive gaming is bad for our health, but it doesn’t mean that teenagers should totally avoid their “hobby”.

No restrictions should be placed on gaming because it brings a lot of benefits to students while offering a golden opportunity to expand their social circle.

As they say, “moderation is key”!

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