BEIJING, April 15 (Xinhua) -- About 60 percent of Chinese university students spend over 1 hour each day on online computer games, while more than 40 percent think online games have impacted their health, according to a recent survey published by China Youth Daily.
Of the 682 respondents surveyed, about 45 percent said they spend 1 to 3 hours each day on online games, and nearly 13 percent indulge in games for over 3 hours a day.
"My roommates and almost everyone else are playing online games. If I didn't, I would feel isolated," said Wang Lu, a student from Chang'an University based in the northwest city of Xi'an.
About 28 percent said they occasionally stay up late playing online games, and late night gaming was a regular habit for 3.5 percent.
"Sometimes students in the same dormitory rooms would stay up gaming till 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning. It's rather common," said Sui Zhiwei, a student from Wuhan University of Technology.
But gaming habits take a physical and psychological toll. Over 40 percent said online games had undermined their health, citing impaired eyesight, declining memory or unstable moods.
For about 40 percent, gaming is a good way to relax and reduce stress, and about 23 percent said their reflexes and concentration have improved since they started gaming.
"It's a matter of self-control. If you have the ability to regulate yourself, online games could be a good way to have a break from study," said one surveyed student.
College faculty members have taken notice of the phenomenon and called for a balance between gaming and study, according to the survey.
"Online games could be a good way to relax if the students don't play them excessively," said Zhang Junxian from Sichuan Agricultural University. She called on faculty members to work together to help students foster a richer and more balanced extracurricular life.