- Stand-off between father and son over too much time playing games on mobile phone ends in dad seizing meat cleaver from child
- Gaming addiction is not uncommon in China and the problem is exacerbated during holiday seasons
Chinese social media has been stunned by a shocking video clip which shows a primary school pupil brandishing a chopper at his father because his dad would not let him play video games on his mobile phone.
The 13-second video, shot by an unidentified person in the southern Chinese autonomous region of Guangxi, has shocked millions of people online.
It shows a male primary school student waving a meat cleaver in front of a middle-aged man who has obviously taken away the youngster’s mobile phone, and is shouting “give it back to me”.
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The boy continues to brandish the weapon before the man overpowers him and takes hold of the chopper.
Filmed on February 10 and the person who shot the video told a television station in the central Chinese province of Henan that the two individuals involved were father and son.
The scary stand-off started when the father stopped the boy playing games and confiscated his mobile phone. The boy became angry and grabbed the chopper to threaten his dad.
The person who shot the video said that the father is usually more indulgent with his son and the boy took exception this time.
The boy in the video was wearing the red scarf that Chinese primary school students are required to wear, meaning that the “chopper threat” came after the winter holidays had ended and school had begun.
Mobile game addiction among children is not a new phenomenon in China and every winter and summer break, the phenomenon sparks social debate.
Many gaming companies have introduced rules prohibiting minors from playing games for too long and require each player to upload their identity card and undergo a facial recognition verification to prove their age.
For example, Tencent Games, China’s largest producer of mobile games, made it a rule that minors can only play games produced by Tencent from 8 pm to 9 pm on a designated 14 days during the most recent winter break.
But the measures are not sufficient. Minors can simply use their parents’ phones and bypass the restrictions.
The father-son confrontation quickly made its way to the Weibo hot list after it was reported by Henan TV. The video has been viewed by more than seven million people.
One online observer was shocked by the boy’s reaction: “So scary! And there are a lot of kids like that.”
“If it was my child, I would alert the authorities. It is unbearable!” Said another.
A third person said: “Kids are increasingly addicted to games, and sooner or later, their families will suffer if they become too spoiled.”
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This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.
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