Should It Be Government’s Role to Decide When Young Gamers Play?

Writers Opinion Gaming Restrictions Featured

There’s no doubt that today’s society has created youngsters with addictions to their technology. When was the last time you saw a group of teenagers who were all talking to each other with no one on their phone at the time? It’s been a while, right? Along with social media, gaming is certainly one of their tech addictions.

China wants to change that with new regulations for young people. They will not be allowed to play video games after 10 p.m., and on weekdays, they’re not allowed to play more than 90 minutes a day. If they want add-ons, they can’t spend more than $57 a month. Should it be the government’s role to decide when young gamers play?

Our Opinion

Phil doesn’t think they should and believes it should be up to “parents to maintain control over what their children consume and for how long.” He reminds everyone that it was up to the parents of previous generations to deny their kids what they deemed bad for them. He’s not sure when it changed that it now seems to be a human right to consume anything on the Internet without scrutiny or restriction. He thinks “people need to get a grip.”

He enters into this opinion as a lifelong gamer. He was a games reviewer when his kids were young, so their gaming was free, and he notes now that they’re adults, he thinks they play too much, and he realizes he should have been more firm with them, and they agree. He believes too much gaming, like TV, “rots their brains and kills any spirit of enquiry or creativity.” He thinks there should be game time and life time, but recognizes parents’ right to set those limits.

Sayak believes restricting video game hours can only have the opposite effect, seeing it as a dopamine thing that will draw them into more violent games to compensate for the time they lost, despite research showing violent games are unlikely to cause real-world violence. He does think it harms their studies. “Parents should go old school on this and use video games as a carrot for good behavior – they have to earn it.” He also thinks many games today are overdoing it with the violence, admitting when he was young, he played Mortal Kombat when no one was looking. He figures that and Doom would be nothing compared to what we have today, owing to better CGI and terrifying audio.

Writers Opinion Gaming Restrictions Cords

Simon thinks the government should have a say over gaming limitations as much as they do over food and health regulations. “If something comes out that’s very clearly unhealthy and parasitic to health, they should make moves to curb it.” He mentions the push to make loot boxes in video games recognized as gambling because kids were getting hooked on the idea and spending a lot of money in the process. “But if it’s just unhealthy habits in general, there should be general health guidelines to follow, and that’s it.” Parents can then choose whether to follow those guidelines, much like we do with recommended daily food guidelines.

Ryan doesn’t think government should have a role in these decisions, as they don’t regulate how much time is spent sitting in front of a TV or staring at a phone. However, he also believes that “predatory practices like loot boxes and similar scammy behavior should be regulated by a consumer protection agency.”

Miguel notes that “when the government becomes nanny for youngsters, it’s only a matter of time before this kind of scenario spreads to adults.” He believes it should be, as it traditionally has been, a parent’s responsibility to manage their child and thinks petitioning the government to take over this responsibility for convenience will lead to even worse results over time.

As the parent to a 23-year-old and a 26-year-old, I went through the gaming restrictions with them. I’m not a fan of the government telling me how to parent. I want to choose my own limitations. If you want to tell me my child shouldn’t own an assault rifle, you’re right, they shouldn’t, and they didn’t. And that is something catastrophic that should be regulated, but not the time they spend gaming.

Your Opinion

We have a wide range of opinions above, between regulating, regulating with limitations, and not regulating. Where do you fall with this? Should it be the government’s role to decide when young gamers play? Join our conversation in the comments below.

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.


  1. “We have a wide range of opinions above, between regulating, regulating with limitations, and not regulating.”
    Beg to differ. All the responders are basically in agreement that a government should not seize for itself the responsibilities of the parents. However, we are talking about the government of China, a dictatorship that wants to control, and does, any and all aspects of their citizens’ lives. Like the proverbial 800 lbs gorilla, the Chines Politburo will do whatever it wants to do.

    The question is Will the governments of supposedly democratic countries follow China’s example and/or will the parents in those countries abrogate their responsibilities in the interest of the Nanny State.

    “Should it be the government’s role to decide when young gamers play?”
    The government is already too much with us. It controls too many aspects of our private lives. As was already stated in mid-19th century in reference to the US Government “The best government is that which governs least”.

  2. No, it is NOT the government’s responsibility to dictate when and how much kids should game. It is the parents’ responsibility. That responsibility starts with teaching the kids when and how to unplug even if it means an old-fashioned parental shuck-and-jive: “No, I don’t know why your High Tech Video Game System won’t work. Why you come to the library with me?”

    And if the kid goes apesh*t ballistic because their High Tech Video Game System won’t work, then those parents have a much bigger problem on their hands.

  3. I believe it is and should be the parent’s responsibility to monitor and regulate. Those who want government intervention are usually non-involved and/or non-confrontational parents who would rather take the control/blame off of themselves and make it a law. Unfortunately, gaming and social media have become the new way of life because there are way too many parents who’d rather a video-game babysit their kids instead of showing them the world and how to thrive in it.

    Put time restrictions on it, make them earn those time slots and make it dependent upon how much they have improved themselves in other more academic, social and psychological areas.

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