Addiction to online game among Chinese troops a worrying trend, military mouthpiece warns

The report in PLA daily expressed concern that entire platoons were seen doing nothing at weekends but playing the fantasy game

Photo courtesy: PLADU\Facebook
Photo courtesy: PLADU\Facebook
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NH Web Desk

Addiction to an online game Honour of Kings among Chinese troops is gradually harming their combat capability, besides posing a threat to China’s security management, Beijing’s military mouthpiece People’s Liberation Army Daily has warned.

“The game has already infiltrated ... the daily lives of some soldiers and officers, affecting [their] physical and psychological health on a certain level”, the article in the influential Chinese daily said. The excerpts from the Chinese-language article were reported in South China Morning Post on Monday.

The article further cited that “entire platoons of soldiers were seen doing nothing on weekends but playing the game in their barracks on their cell phones.

“The security threat cannot be ignored if a soldier has been suddenly called into real-life combat and yet his mind continues to linger in the game he was just playing,” the article said.

The report further noted that video games had become more popular among PLA troops since last year, when the troops were granted permission to carry their cellphones on them in the barracks.

Developed by Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings, Honour of Kings is a fantasy game based on historical characters that has more than 200 million players worldwide.

However, the game’s popularity has also made it a target of criticism of the Chinese state media, which dubbed the game as “poison” and “drug” that was harming teenagers.

The scathing criticism it received from the influential daily prompted the parent company to impose a daily 9 PM curfew on players below the age of 12, in addition to a daily one-hour limit that under-12s could be logged in. For 12-18 year olds, the daily limit has been set at two hours.

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