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  • Writer's pictureRiver Valley Student Editorial Club

Moving From a Vast New World

By Dong Xinyue (22J19)

If I could redo one choice in my life, I would choose to read up on genshin’s gacha system before spending a few hundreds on the standard banner.

Despite being just released in 2020, it is surprising how Genshin Impact has already amassed over 62 million registered users as of June 1, 2022.

The game features an anime-style open-world environment and an action-based battle system using elemental magic and character-switching. The game is free-to-play and is monetized through gacha game mechanics through which players can obtain new characters and weapons.

While it is agreed that Genshin, an easy, free-to-play game, is a great pastime, and a way for students like myself to blow off some steam, it is concerning how addictive it can be. I was first introduced to Genshin by my friends, after completing my O’ Levels and have been more or less addicted ever since.

However, what comes with the addiction is the problem of frittering money away to fuel and sustain excessive spending of in-game currency on characters and levelling up materials unrestrained. According to a poll conducted in Hoyolab, only forty eight percent of Genshin players are F2P (free to play), even though the game is completely free to play.

To illustrate this problem, recently, there was a report about a teenage girl spending $20,000 on Genshin Impact using her dad's credit card unbeknownst to him. With the various marketing strategies, it has never been harder for students like us to control our spending on games. This problem is compounded by the fact that it is not easy keeping track of online payments.` Being a highly addictive game also means that many may spend too much more time on the game than they should, resulting in plummeting grades in school, or even worsened family relations.

Struggling with reality

During the December holidays last year, I decided to move away from Genshin and spend more time with my family. With the wonderful graphics and interesting storylines, it has been a struggle to meet this goal. It was difficult to ignore the urge to log in and appreciate the breathtaking landscapes in Genshin, but I learnt that the in-game scenery could not compare to real life.

It has also been more interesting interacting with the cute, furry friends I met in Japan than with Genshin characters.

Currently, I have been trying to spend less time and money on Genshin, aiming to limit my screen time to half an hour every day, and I have been quite successful in this mission, logging into the game to do only my daily commissions and spend the resins there. There are only 24 hours in a day and after taking out the time needed for sleeping, eating, entertainment and lessons, there is not much time left for us to spend with our family and friends.

Games may connect us with more friends, but putting in too much time and effort in games may also disconnect us from the real world.

For those that spend too much in the online world, it is now time to touch some grass and move away from the virtual world.

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