Growing number of Japanese children playing video games on school days
According to a Health Ministry survey, more Japanese fourth-graders play video games or mobile games on school days than children the same age nine years ago.
The rate is 74.8% for children born in 2010, compared to 65.2% in a similar survey of children born in 2001 when they have reached the age of 10 years.
The Ministry of Health conducted the latest survey last year on some 26,000 children born in 2010 and collected responses from 92% of them.
Among respondents, those who play games for less than an hour on school days accounted for 71.2% when they were first graders. But the proportion fell to 48.1% when they entered fourth grade.
Among fourth-graders, 38.7% reported playing games for an hour or more but less than two hours on school days, and 9.8% for two or more hours but less than three hours. Both proportions were higher than the percentages shown when the children were in grade one.
The survey also showed that many parents are concerned about these changes in children’s behavior due to games.
When asked to name areas of their children’s daily life that concerned them, with multiple responses allowed, 58% cited the long hours their children spend watching TV or playing games, against 34.4% among parents of children born in 2001..
The survey also asked parents if they allow their fourth-graders to have cell phones.
Among children born in 2010, 32.8% had a cell phone when they were in fourth grade, compared to 14.4% for children born in 2001.
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