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Japanese politicians want to set daily limit on how much time kids can spend playing video games

Bullet Club

Gold Member
Japanese politicians want to set daily limit on how much time kids can spend playing video games

Proposal also bans playing games after certain times at night depending on gamer’s age.

On January 10, members of a special committee of the Kagawa Prefectural Assembly held a meeting. The legislators gathered to formally announce their draft of the newest piece of codified law they believe their citizens need: a government-set limit on the amount of time kids are legally allowed to spend playing video games.

The proposed ordinance would cap the amount of time children high-school age or younger can play games each day, and thus be applicable to all residents of the prefecture 17 or younger, as well as those who won’t graduate until after they turn 18. Under the law, children would be allowed to play video games for only one hour a day on weekdays, and no more than 90 minutes on weekends and holidays. The committee cites a need for government countermeasures against video game and Internet addiction as the driving force behind its proposal.

Japan has an unusual love/hate relationship with video games. On one hand, they’re a high-profile, much-loved part of the entertainment landscape, with Tokyo boasting Final Fantasy restaurants and a brand-new Nintendo specialty shop in showcase neighborhood Shibuya. Globally successful video game companies are so respected that when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Olympics, as part of the passing of the baton to the 2020 Tokyo Games, he did so while cosplaying as Super Mario.

But on the other hand, video gaming has, for decades, been one of the primary things Japanese parents fret are threatening to ruin their children’s futures. One of the most common concerns PTA groups voice is that kids with too much free time will waste it in arcades, and they’re not worried about kids getting into fights, being abducted, or sucking down second-hand smoke while they’re there, but instead have a nebulous but certain impression that spending time jiggling a joystick and slapping buttons will turn young minds to mush.

In addition to limiting how much time children can spend playing video games each day, the proposed ordinance also sets a limit on when kids are allowed to play video games. High school kids have to put down their controllers by 10 p.m., while younger kids have to stop playing by 9.

The proposal makes no mention of what kids are supposed to do instead of playing games, but zoning out on the couch with a fluffy rom-com movie, eating a bag of potato chips while watching professional sports on TV, or leafing through celebrity gossip magazines, are all options unrestricted by the ordinance, and thus apparently considered a more constructive use of children’s free time.

If ratified, the proposal would be the first such ban in Japan. While there are currently no penalties attached to kids going over the daily limits, the committee says it is now gathering public opinion and may adjust the proposal before it is introduced at the assembly’s regular plenary session next month.

Even without any government mandated punishment, though, the proposal would finally make it illegal for kids to be playing video games when they should be doing something else, behavior that right now can only be corrected by parents who can intone the arcane command “Hey, Taro, if you haven’t finished your homework, stop playing games and go do it now,” a Herculean task far beyond the capabilities of anyone but trained child psychologists. Plus, a government-imposed limit on how much time kids can spend playing games will help prepare them for adult life, since as we all know, there’s no need to even start developing any sort of time-management skills or self-discipline until you’re at least in college, right?

NHK News Web via Otakomu

Source: SoraNews24
 
They literally made an anime about this in 2017 called 'Evil or Live'. The kids get sent to a military-style camp that brutalizes them.
 
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Orenji Neko

Member
I can already hear my nephew’s complaining from here despite my sister already being lenient on this sort of thing, which my mother was -not- back in the day, but my dad provided some pushback to balance it out.

Then again, not sure how this would be enforced outside of public things like arcades.
 

Alexios

Cores, shaders and BIOS oh my!
Oh no, they'll cause every kid to become a delinquent and spend their time bullying and punking around! Derp, this isn't what people think.
 
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ranmafan

Member
As usual, they want to pass another law here with no peneties and no way that they could ever enforce it. How am I not surprised. Plus this is just one prefecture considering such a thing and not the whole country. I couldn't imagine this spreading to all prefectures, then again I've been surprised by lots of political moves here. But Its Kagawa and not Tokyo, so probably never going to spread. The country already has rules and laws preventing youngsters from arcades after certain hours at night, and in my prefecture until recently I was thrown out of an arcade with my wife and then 1 year old daughter when we wanted to take pictures there because my daughter was under the curfew limit and it didn't matter we were there. Thankfully they changed that rule, it was so ridiculous. But yeah, its a waste of time considering such useless legislation but Im not surprised at all some place here is thinking of it. Especially with schools worrying about things like UFO Catcher/crain game and cell phone game addiction these days.
 
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Abriael_GN

Member
To give you the scope of the relevance of this proposal, even if passed (which it likely won't), it's gonna be valid only in the little red dot below.



Kagawa prefecture is literally the smallest in Japan. They gotta do something to get in the news, I guess.
 
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Sakura

Member
To give you the scope of the relevance of this proposal, even if passed (which it likely won't), it's gonna be valid only in the little red dot below.



Kagawa prefecture is literally the smallest in Japan. They gotta do something to get in the news, I guess.
Oh I read this as Kanagawa at first lol
 

jdforge

Member
Instead of focusing on something that they can’t really enforce, it would be really cool if the Japanese Government banned sexualising very young looking females in video games.
 

Abriael_GN

Member
Instead of focusing on something that they can’t really enforce, it would be really cool if the Japanese Government banned sexualising very young looking females in video games.

I know reading is hard, but the "Japanese government" has absolutely nothing to do with this.
 

JohannCK

Member
It's more what Soranews24 is all about, 20% informative, 30% touristy, 50% comedy. It's really not a serious site reporting news seriously by any stretch of the imagination.
I liked them better when they were just Rocketnews and their clickbait consisted of harmless nonsense like "we ordered Cocoichi curry with every single topping" and "we ordered a Whopper with 50 patties".

This garbage just results in the usual ignorant racists getting more ammo to spout with their ignorant bullshit. I wouldn't be surprised if, even if the proposal gets withdrawn tomorrow, they'd still be reposting this nonsense five years from now.
 
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jdforge

Member
I know reading is hard, but the "Japanese government" has absolutely nothing to do with this.

Nothing wrong with my comprehension, thank you.

The group behind the study would require government approval.

My point stands that the Japanese Government have much bigger issues that they should focus on in regards the content in Japanese video games, rather than play time.

Depicting minors in a sexualised setting is far more damaging than playing Mario Maker for an entire weekend.

Perhaps most of Japan and some outside of Japan are ok with that though 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

Abriael_GN

Member
Nothing wrong with my comprehension, thank you.

The group behind the study would require government approval.

My point stands that the Japanese Government have much bigger issues that they should focus on in regards the content in Japanese video games, rather than play time.

Depicting minors in a sexualised setting is far more damaging than playing Mario Maker for an entire weekend.

Perhaps most of Japan and some outside of Japan are ok with that though 🤷🏻‍♂️

Looks like you do have some issues with comprehension.

This is not a study. The "group" behind this proposal for a prefectural law is a few politicians at a prefectural level. Implementing it would require no approval from the Japanese government, nor it would affect Japan as a country in any shape or form.

Incidentally, I'm very interested in seeing you put "very young-looking females" in functional legislative wording, since you think you have a clue about the issue the Japanese government should focus on.
 
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Depicting minors in a sexualised setting is far more damaging than playing Mario Maker for an entire weekend.
Is it really, though? I'm always amazed by how some people here will (rightfully) ridicule anyone claiming that there is a link between violent video games and violent crime in real life, only to then be all too happy to make similarly baseless claims about the supposed dangers of having scantily clad young-looking anime girls in video games.
 

Grinchy

Banned
Playing games for more than an hour per day is such a waste of time. How do people even get their 3+ hours of network sitcoms and reality shows in if they are wasting their time with videogames?
 

jdforge

Member
Is it really, though? I'm always amazed by how some people here will (rightfully) ridicule anyone claiming that there is a link between violent video games and violent crime in real life, only to then be all too happy to make similarly baseless claims about the supposed dangers of having scantily clad young-looking anime girls in video games.

No of course it’s not in the slightest bit damaging for young, impressionable people to interact with sexualised characters (also appearing as minors) in a video game.

I find it utterly deplorable that any parent would ever allow their children to play a game such as Mario Maker. In doing so, such irresponsible parents would expose their children to all manner of perversion.

If you and others are comfortable interacting with or allowing kids to interact with games characterising minors in a sexual way that’s entirely your choice.

Personally I draw the line at that being anywhere close to acceptable content.
 
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No of course it’s not in the slightest bit damaging for young, impressionable people to interact with sexualised characters (also appearing as minors) in a video game.
But having these same young, impressionable people commit virtual murder over and over again is just fine and dandy, I presume?

If you and others are comfortable interacting with or allowing kids to interact with games characterising minors in a sexual way that’s entirely your choice.
How is that in any way consistent with your demand for a ban? If there was a ban, there would be no choice.
 

radewagon

Member
But on the other hand, video gaming has, for decades, been one of the primary things Japanese parents fret are threatening to ruin their children’s futures. One of the most common concerns PTA groups voice is that kids with too much free time will waste it in arcades, and they’re not worried about kids getting into fights, being abducted, or sucking down second-hand smoke while they’re there, but instead have a nebulous but certain impression that spending time jiggling a joystick and slapping buttons will turn young minds to mush.

Then, why not, oh, I dunno, tell your kids what to do? A law sounds like a much harder solution to a very simple problem.
 

jdforge

Member
But having these same young, impressionable people commit virtual murder over and over again is just fine and dandy, I presume?


How is that in any way consistent with your demand for a ban? If there was a ban, there would be no choice.

I guess some people will go to any length to try and justify the sexualisation of minors.
 

sublimit

Banned
I love video games but in my opinion kids that are younger than 12 year old should have a very limited exposure to video games (if at all) and be encouraged to do activities more beneficial to their minds,creativity,imagination and body.Reading,drawing,sports or just playing outside with other kids is much more important at that age IMO. There will be time for video games when they become older.

That said this is up to the kid's parents and no one else.
 
Strange news from Japan where gaming is a part of their modern culture.
I think smartphones are much more dangerous than non smartphone video games.
 

jdforge

Member
I guess some people will go to any length to avoid having to come up with an actual argument.

I think the mere realisation of gratuitous sexualisation of minors taking place is argument enough for most.

Or at least is is for those of us in society who can’t stomach it and know it is wrong on every level.

I concur however that unfortunately there are others who get off on this kind of thing and defend and perpetuate its existence.
 
Didn't China already implement this (or try to)?

On some level, I can understand this. Parents for the most part just aren't very good at their job anymore because a lot of them have weak spines when it comes to disciplining their kids and spending quality time with them, that's why the kids are usually off in their own world. But nowadays kids would rather play games all day and stay on their phones.

What happened to kids going outside to play with their friends? There were days I probably didn't even play games because I'd spend the whole day playing with neighborhood kids, playing tag or basketball, football or just going around the neighborhood. And I'd usually never choose a game over watching my favorite cartoons.

That doesn't mean I didn't love games, it just meant as a kid I had more "balance" in my life in terms of how to spend my time. The truth is a lot of today's kids don't have any critical thinking and low creativity, and that's partly due to not needing to use their imagination too much anymore. They always have super-easy access to entertainment and social media that does the "thinking" for them (depends on what kind of entertainment we're talking about; Hollywood movies for example are dumb as shit these days), and I think that shows when you see some of the stuff coming out these days; it always feels super-derivative and referential to other media, like cartoons (not even older ones) or video games.

There's nothing wrong with having references in your work, but so much stuff coming from younger millennials these days doesn't have any substance outside of those, no foundation rooted in experience or understanding of life outside of vapid media consumption. That works for guys like Tarantino because at least the media they consumed wasn't completely derivative of other media (and the, uh, "problems" with agendas in a lot of stuff today weren't really present in older media) plus he just genuinely developed a gift for good writing and telling stories...but he's an exception.

If you want to see the typical results of a millennial who probably grew up glued to nothing but vapid media consumption and not enough of a balance in the media they consumed (and just spent too much time consuming media like games but not enough engagement with hobbies and activities promoting imagination, creativity or critical thought), just look at Thundercats Roar!

...That said, it shouldn't be the government forcing this on people. It's the parents, who should be more active in their kid's lives, and put some restrictions on how much gaming, social media etc. they do. They're good things, but you shouldn't get addicted to them.

I love video games but in my opinion kids that are younger than 12 year old should have a very limited exposure to video games (if at all) and be encouraged to do activities more beneficial to their minds,creativity,imagination and body.Reading,drawing,sports or just playing outside with other kids is much more important at that age IMO. There will be time for video games when they become older.

That said this is up to the kid's parents and no one else.

Guess I could've just quoted this xD; good to see someone looking at it from this perspective.

Nothing wrong with my comprehension, thank you.

The group behind the study would require government approval.

My point stands that the Japanese Government have much bigger issues that they should focus on in regards the content in Japanese video games, rather than play time.

Depicting minors in a sexualised setting is far more damaging than playing Mario Maker for an entire weekend.

Perhaps most of Japan and some outside of Japan are ok with that though 🤷🏻‍♂️

So should America stop trying to shut down lootboxes until all the pedophiles like Jared are arrested and locked away?

Ridiculous either/or look into this kind of stuff my guy.
 
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I think the mere realisation of gratuitous sexualisation of minors taking place is argument enough for most.

Or at least is is for those of us in society who can’t stomach it and know it is wrong on every level.
I think the mere realisation of gratuitous murder of human beings taking place is argument enough for most. Or at least is is for those of us in society who can’t stomach it and know it is wrong on every level.

Sound familiar? It should, because that's basically the go-to argument used by people pushing for a ban on violent video games. I mean, murder is wrong, right? Running over innocent people is wrong on every level, as is carjacking, robbery and drug trafficking. And yet, GTA not only lets you do all of these things, it even rewards you for it in many cases. Hell, if you play Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat 11, you get to beat up and then ceremoniously rip in half your own daughter, and the game even expects you to laugh about it.

The reason why this isn't really much of an argument should be obvious: characters in video games are not real people, and treating them as such would be ridiculous.

"I don't like it, and neither do lots of other people" should never be a reason for outright banning something. If you think a causal connection exists between sexualized depictions of minors in video games and other media and the prevalence of real life sexual abuse, then it's up to you to provide proof of its existence. If you can't do that, then just do what I do: don't buy games featuring content you find objectionable.
 
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Carna

Banned
I read into Japan not exactly being this perfect save haven, despite many of us being invested into the country's culture. I can understand that despite being a weeb.
 

xrnzaaas

Member
It's the parents role to decide if and how much their kids can play and parental controls make it easy to set and track. Unless the government wants Japan to become another oppressive country like China it's none of their business.
 
1.) Parents need to stop being lazy assholes and take responsibility. No need for a law.

2.) This would kill the games industry. 1 hour per day? That's like ... 2 MonHun-missions if you hurry. That's 2 jrpgs per year. People would be buying almost no games anymore, lol.
 

jdforge

Member
I think the mere realisation of gratuitous murder of human beings taking place is argument enough for most. Or at least is is for those of us in society who can’t stomach it and know it is wrong on every level.

Sound familiar? It should, because that's basically the go-to argument used by people pushing for a ban on violent video games. I mean, murder is wrong, right? Running over innocent people is wrong on every level, as is carjacking, robbery and drug trafficking. And yet, GTA not only lets you do all of these things, it even rewards you for it in many cases. Hell, if you play Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat 11, you get to beat up and then ceremoniously rip in half your own daughter, and the game even expects you to laugh about it.

The reason why this isn't really much of an argument should be obvious: characters in video games are not real people, and treating them as such would be ridiculous.

"I don't like it, and neither do lots of other people" should never be a reason for outright banning something. If you think a causal connection exists between sexualized depictions of minors in video games and other media and the prevalence of real life sexual abuse, then it's up to you to provide proof of its existence. If you can't do that, then just do what I do: don't buy games featuring content you find objectionable.

Or alternatively you could also stop defending the use of sexualised minors in video games, thereby helping to facilitate its acceptance and reinforcing to those who find it acceptable, acceptable.

Or you can continue to argue for that kind of content being acceptable and appear to be a supporter of it.

Up to you.
 
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