Chinese Health Study: Video Games Making Children Dumb

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China has released various studies in the past about the adverse effects of video games on the development of young people. Over the weekend the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Wuhan, Hubei province released a report showing that more than half the city's teenagers have less understanding about life and death than primary school children. The reason the intermediate school children were deemed "dumber"? Because of video games...

The CASS of Wuhan said they surveyed most of the city's minors about their thoughts on life and death. While surveying an unknown number of young people, the survey found that 81.5 percent of all fifth graders did not believe in reincarnation and that death was final while 61.4 percent of intermediate and high school students believed in reincarnation.

While there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with believing in reincarnation, the director of CASS Wuhan, Dong Shi, says that it is an issue. In his report, Dong said that the children's "misunderstanding" of death is a dangerous notion created by video games.


"Children don't come into contact with death, and the subject is fairly taboo," said Dong. "However they come into the concept of death in video games and other media. Virtual death is not ubiquitous and to immature children, video game resurrection can create a disregard for life."

"They might actually think they can be revived."

Personally, I'm inclined to give the children the benefit of the doubt. Chinese studies are usually skewed in favor of whatever agenda the government is trying to push. Think video games and their relation to violence.

Dong's study and the way it was worded says that middle school and high school students who play video games are dumber than primary school children that don't. Without any real numbers on the number of children surveyed or how the survey was conducted, I can't really believe in what Dong is putting out. Anecdotally there hasn't been a mass dying of students in Wuhan believing they can be revived, has there?

UPDATE: Reader SpoonMan54321 pointed this out, I can't believe I missed it. The study's questions equate reincarnation with resurrection! They are not the same thing. The study in Chinese talks about reincarnation and asks about resurrection. No wonder the study is weird!


Kotaku East is your slice of Asian Internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

[智商低过小学生!中学生沉迷网游相信死而复生] [CASS Wuhan Report Via Tencent]

Eric is Beijing based writer and all around FAT man. You can contact him @ or follow him on Twitter @FatAsianTechie.

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