ABDVol.30 No.2
Children's Leisure Time in China

Wu Xusheng,

In the cities of China, especially in some of the big ones, such as Beijing, children spend most of their leisure time playing PC games, watching TV and taking part in all kinds of sports, like football. For example, 'Net clubs' and playgrounds are the places that children usually go to on weekends, on holidays, or after school.
 Because of the development of Multimedia, more and more 'Net clubs' are springing up. However, because they can seriously affect children's study, the government has closed them down many times, to no evident effect. Children actually find many underground 'Net clubs' which are often situated in back lanes, where they can forget the unhappiness of study, wholly immersed in the joy that computer games bring. To children, the most welcome games are those popular in foreign countries, such as "The War among the Celestial Bodies", "Tomb III","FIFA99". They like acting like Lora who is beautiful but unfeeling in the game "Tomb III", and they like "Explorations in the Jungle"; They also like cooperating with each other, using the same tactics, coping with the other side in concert. Of course, PC games made in China are also popular with children, such as "The Story of 3 Nations", or "The Biography of a Person Adept in Martial Arts and Given to Chivalrous Conduct". The characters in those games appeal to the children. The effect of gorgeous sound and light, the wonderful model and the richly imaginative content can hold a deep fascination for children.
 Children who are fond of football also like playing it during their leisure time. They think this kind of sport can bring out their courage and wisdom, and furthermore their 'team spirit'. They love the football stars, not only Chinese ones, but also foreigners.
 As for cartoons, older children prefer those that are of practical significance to them, because the characters are closer to their age and the life style, such as "FIFA99", and "Basketball Master-Hand". The characters in these cartoons appeal to children, who see them as idols. However, younger children are more keen on watching cartoons that are similar to fairy tales, full of innocence, childishness and humour, such as "Tom and Jerry", "Big Head Son and Small Head Father". Dubbed in Chinese, these cartoons are especially interesting.
 In China, on account of the many limited actions, there are only a few children who have access to Internet, and who receive e-mail from or send e-mail to their relatives and friends, or chat on the Internet. The other functions of computers are not yet exploited fully. But we believe, with the development of Chinese multimedia, our children can enter a more wonderful multimedia kingdom and have happier leisure time than today.