Gaming addiction: The “Violence” theme in most computer games is a hot topic for discussion & debate not only with Indian parents & but from Parents all over the world. Yes, there are a lot of games which show killings in graphic details.
And all it takes is a just few clicks for your child to get hooked on to them.
But it’s not really ‘the element of violence’ that a child is getting hooked on here-it’s the sense of having power and being in control. It is a known & accepted fact that computer games are addicting, specially the ones which have ‘violence themes’.
Why are some computer games so violent?
Games are violent because that’s what the kids prefer. Research & surveys indicated that children prefer violent video games involving human or fantasy violence. Very few kids prefer educational games. So it stands to reason that the more violent the game is, the better it will sell. Kids are no longer interested in simple animation, and educational games.
What effects do Violent games have on children?
Advantages v/s Disadvantages
Some experts believe that violent games are a means of interaction between children. It can be a release of violence and aggression which they may have within them. While many believe these games make children oriented towards violence. Some also believe these games make kids uncompassionate and insensitive towards death. Violent games are generally action packed & Manufacturers of such games insist that their games Improve coordination, reflexes, and skills ! A point which educational games manufacturers disagree with. Violent games can hold children ( & even adults !) spellbound in amazement. This can lead to them sitting on the computer for hours and hours sometimes leading to neck problems and eye damage.
GAME ADDICTION-Some signs to watch out for.
- Is your child playing computer games most of the time?
- Is your child playing for long periods?
- Doesn’t like to play outdoor games like before?
- Get restless if they can’t play?
- You make him get up but he/she comes back to the PC?
- plays instead of doing homework?
- sacrifices social activities, friends.
- Doesn’t watch his favorite TV programmers like before, want to be play on the computer.
- School report shows & teachers begin to complain.
If the answer is “yes” to most of these questions, your child may be playing video games excessively and limits should be placed. The best way to help avoid addiction is to take breaks and set time limits allotted for playing. Most children cannot set their own limits so it is up to the parents to set restrictions and take notice of how much their child plays such games.
What does it all mean?
For many, computer games are usually fun and relaxing. But for some, games can become consuming and addicting, taking away from day to day activities and social behavior. So what is the best way to keep the situation under control? Banning materials is definitely not the answer. Probably the most important aspect to take note of is:
Like We always insist, ” PARENTS MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY”
What can be done?
If you believe that computer games are bad for your kids you might be closing your child to a world that teaches them many good things. This is because good computer games can enhance computer skills and may be a way to make your child interested in computers. There are enough games that are not ultra violent but can be as interesting & and enjoyable as violent games.
Encourage your children to play Educational games.
You will find lots of interesting educational games for your kids on grammar, math, sports, spellings etc. You as a parent may sometimes have to tolerate a certain amount of violence in games. For example some amount of shooting in games is okay. As a parent you should know where to draw the line for your child.
Play with the kids.
Your kids love games & they love you too. So, why not pull a chair & sit with them & enjoy. Yes, your little kid will love it, especially when they beat you hands down. And you too would get to learn something about games and computers.
Set the time limit.
You have to set time limits & see that your child follows it. Be strict if necessary & see they don’t neglect their homework.
Keep a watch.
Kids are smart these days. It is possible your smart kid may be enjoying games at his friends home ! Keep a check & remind him not to play violent games.
What about games for girls?
Not surprisingly most girls prefer creative games & dislike violent games. There are games like ‘ Barbie’ which girls love. Girls also enjoy games on coloring, words & puzzles, grammar.
Remember that all games are not bad. Nor do all games incite violence. What is important is find good games & monitor your child when he plays on the PC. Like we always say,You, as a parent must be aware of what’s there in the game and spend some time checking them out before you let your kids see the game. Parental involvement is always a MUST. There is no substitute .