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Citizen Voices

Video Games Are Good For Children If Parents Monitor Screen Time

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Momina Raja writes about pros and cons of videogaming amid a pandemic. She argues that gaming can be beneficial for children and adults in moderation. 

 

The recent ban on PUBG was welcomed by the parents across the country, as the lockdown not only forced the educational institutions to go virtual but it also transformed the living areas in the houses.

The living rooms/bedrooms became playgrounds and the electronic gadgets turned into the gaming kits. It would be fitting to say that this online gaming culture has always been there, especially after the increased use of smartphones. but the lockdown has given it a further hike.

The gaming culture often dubbed addictive has recently raised eyebrows around the globe due to the prevalent problematic online gaming. Numerous researches have been conducted on the impact of online gaming.

Much of the research depicts negative connotations attached to the gaming culture. Over the years the most popular video games in the market have been those associated with violence. Virtual reality is created which allows users to violently kill their opponents or often show aggressive traits. Since children are deemed to be the most impressionable members of society, it is believed that many users display the same kind of behavior in society creating chaos and anarchy.

Moreover, research depicts that excessive viewing of such content has a severe impact on mental well-being. The most recent case of the negative impact the gaming culture has created occurred in Pakistan when a 16-year-old boy took his life. Complaints against PUBG game included that it was addictive, a waste of time, and had serious implications on one’s psychological and physical well-being.

This violent gaming culture has resulted in many children to dismiss the idea of physical growth by going outside and playing. Instead, children become reliant on virtual games forgoing physical activity. Moreover, many children have been victims of continuous bullying through this virtual setup.

There are little repercussions for those who indulge in this toxic trait, therefore cyberbullying through video games has increased in manifolds. Gaming is also considered to be addictive. Often children completely get lost in the world that is being offered by these videogames.

Children especially get so hooked to their videogames that they become dependent on them, wasting their valuable time. Parents are often found bargaining with their children about their screen time and when parents try to take away video games from their children, they often face a serious of tantrums creating enormous pressure on them to comply. This event has resulted in countless unpleasant situations in households.

While online gaming comes under a lot of scrutinies, a number of people believe that the gaming culture provides a getaway. It provides a platform for its users to interact and communicate with people all around the world. The gaming culture has promoted a virtual community that has assisted and allowed many people to feel safe.

The researches done at New York university’s (NYU) department called CREATE, dedicated for the purpose of evaluating digital games for learning, suggest that the evolution of gaming culture has resulted in strategic games to gain popularity which is positively correlated to one’s executive functioning. Since children from a very young age start playing videogames, they understand differences and strategic techniques they otherwise would not be able to.

The problem arises when the balance between the virtual world and the real world is mislaid. If parents monitor their children’s online activity and set a screen time, along with recreation, online games could be used for educational purposes as well.

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Naya Daur