Thursday, 2023 September 21

Daily Digest | State of play

Hi there. It’s Brady.

Let’s step back in time a bit. In the late 1930s, a Dutch historian and cultural theorist named Johan Huizinga coined the term homo ludens, or the “playing man.” He wrote a book about it, essentially conveying the concept that with play comes meaning and culture.

I like this idea a lot. It’s like knowing that you understand something intuitively when you’re able to craft jokes about it.

So when I heard that minors in China are now limited to three hours of weekly playtime for mobile games, it felt like something was lost. Even though I’m not a huge proponent of video games, and even though I think developing other hobbies could do some people a lot of good, the new limitations seem too harsh.

Control comes in many forms. A softer version, in this context, would be a rating system, which China still lacks even though regulators seem obsessed with cutting screen time for players who are under the age of 18. I still haven’t managed to square this incongruity.

Anyway, my colleague Jiaxing had the full story about this curtailed hobby for China’s underage kids. You can read about it here.

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