A panel of censors set up to vet mobile video games in China has signalled it will be hard to please.

State media reports that of the first 20 titles it assessed, nine were refused permission to on sale.

The Xinhua news agency added that developers of the other 11 had been told they had to make adjustments to remove “controversial content”.

There has been a clampdown on new video game releases in the country since March.

Spending too much time gawping at screens is making children more likely to be short-sighted, become overweight and get cancer, experts say.

A review of 80 studies on more than 200,000 people has ranked smartphones and tablets alongside sugary drinks as one of the biggest risks for childhood obesity.

Being overweight can lead to a dozen types of cancer, including breast, colon, kidney, liver, ovarian, pancreas and prostate.

As well increasing their risk of dying young, too much time on gadgets is damaging youngsters’ eyes – the number of short-sighted children has doubled in 50 years.

Will buying your child an iPad this Christmas doom them to a lifetime of short-sightedness? Possibly. In recent years, smartphones, screens, and social media have been blamed for everything from obesity to loneliness to shortening attention-spans, and now they have received their latest indictment.

A study published last week by King’s College London reported a “digital myopia” plaguing British children. It found that a child’s risk of myopia (short-sightedness) rose by three per cent for each hour they spent playing computer games.

Facebook and Instagram have decided to roll out new tools to help people manage their time on the apps. The tools include an activity dashboard, a daily reminder and a new way to limit notifications.

The company said it has developed the tools based on collaboration and inspiration from leading mental health experts and organisations, academics, its own extensive research and feedback from the community.

DeepMind, a Google-owned artificial intelligence company, has developed an AI system that can accurately identify 50 different types of eye condition as accurately as a doctor.

The system — capable of analysing 3D retinal OCT scans for early signs of conditions like glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and macular degeneration — has been developed through a joint research partnership with Moorfields Eye Hospital in London over the last 18 months.

For the last six months, at night in school libraries across Overland Park, a suburb of Kansas City, Mo., about 150 parents have been meeting to talk about one thing: how to get their children off screens.

It wasn’t long ago that the worry was that rich students would have access to the internet earlier, gaining tech skills and creating a digital divide. Schools ask students to do homework online, while only about two-thirds of people in the U.S. have broadband internet service. But now, as Silicon Valley’s parents increasingly panic over the impact screens have on their children and move toward screen-free lifestyles, worries over a new digital divide are rising. 

Smartphones have by now been implicated in so many crummy outcomes—car fatalities, sleep disturbances, empathy loss, relationship problems, failure to notice a clown on a unicycle—that it almost seems easier to list the things they don’t mess up than the things they do. Our society may be reaching peak criticism of digital devices.

Even so, emerging research suggests that a key problem remains underappreciated. It involves kids’ development, but it’s probably not what you think. More than screen-obsessed young children, we should be concerned about tuned-out parents.

For most people gaming is an enjoyable hobby and a way to spend time with friends. But for some it can become more than that.

Gaming addiction has been listed as a mental health condition for the first time by the World Health Organization.

LAST December, at a conference in the southern city of Guangzhou, Pony Ma joked that he felt a little nervous to be parted from his phone while on stage. He was responding to criticism about the addictive nature of smartphones, fuelled by what some in China call “electronic opium”: video games, among Tencent’s best-known products and its single-biggest revenue source. Mr Ma, its boss (and China’s richest man, according to the latest annual ranking from Forbes, a magazine), added that his myopia had worsened of late and that eye strain was “also a problem”.

Staring at screens all day isn’t good for us – we know this. It can cause eye strain, sometimes called computer vision syndrome, and the light is so bright it can mimic sunlight, mess with our hormones, and prevent us from feeling sleepy.

And according to a new study, published last month in the journal Scientific Reports, the blue light emitted by our phones, tablets, and laptops might increase our chance of becoming blind. Previous studies have found that blue light is harmful, but researchers from the University of Toledo say it can make molecules “toxic.”