Writing for the China Daily, Zhou Wenting becomes the first journalist that I know of to claim a surge in board game “addiction” among children. Yeeha, board gamers have finally joined a club whose membership previously only included collectible card gamers and video gamers.

Ok, seriously. Let’s take a look at source:

The title is “Concerns surge as children become hooked on games”. This “surge” consists of 1) a mother, and 2) a 23 year-old who works for a media organization. The story opens with a boy who “is hooked” on the Three Kingdoms (Sanguosha) card game: he plays it, sometimes until 9:30 pm (!), and also studies strategies for it.

The article continues: “An online poll … found that 87 percent of the 343 respondents said they often see primary or middle school students playing board games like Sanguosha, and 60 percent of the respondents knew children who were obsessed by such games … The survey showed that more than half of the respondents did not think such board games were beneficial to children.”

60 percent who responded “often see students playing board games”? And that’s a concern how, exactly? And more than half “didn’t think such board games were beneficial” is hardly a yardstick for measuring concern.

So where is the concern? A mother is concerned that a) some of the characters are scantily clad, and b) some of the history is imprecise, and thus they might learn something incorrectly (God forbid that should happen in China). And a 23-year old is concerned that children are playing games that are meant for adults, and thus there aren’t enough good games for children.

The article ends with quotes from anonymous sociologists and “experts” indicating that they, too, would like to see more games that are good for families. (Despite the article’s title, apparently no one except the author is actually quoted to be concerned about board game addition.)

I guess the funny part is that just a few months ago, Zhou wrote a nice promotion article on the spread – and benefits – of the Three Kingdoms card game. (source)