A Japanese teen is standing up for his right to play hours of video games, crowdfunding for a lawsuit to challenge local government guidelines on limiting video gaming by children.
The 17-year-old, who asked to be identified only by his first name Wataru, has enlisted the support of his mother and a lawyer in his bid to challenge the first-of-its-kind ordinance issued by Kagawa prefecture in western Japan.
The ordinance calls for children to be limited to an hour a day of gaming during the week, and 90 minutes during school holidays.
It also suggests children aged 12 to 15 should not be allowed to use smartphones later than 9pm, with the limit rising to 10pm for children between 15 and 18.
But while the rules are just guidelines with no enforcement mechanism, Wataru told AFP he was inspired to challenge them on principle.
“How long children are allowed to play games or use a smartphone should be rules set by each family, not by the government,” he said.
“I thought it is wrong that an administrative body intervenes in family life,” he said.
Wataru insists his own gaming habits weren’t particularly obsessive, but said he had experienced being kicked off an online server when he tried to access it after 10pm because of the local rules.
The time limits in the guidelines “have no scientific evidence,” he argues.