Video Game, Good or Bad For Children? (Part I)

That sentence usually comes out from parents that apprehensive about their child. They worried their children will be negatively affected with things named “video game”. Yes, video game can badly affected children between 6 – 17 years old. Especially children under 10 years old, they can easily affected with the violence in video game. In the past 30 years, video games have had a major impact on how people spend their time. Parents afraid if video game takes most of their children’s time. They afraid video game makes children lazy, do not want to study, do not want to play outside, so they only have few friends and their school grade falling. A recent report showed that 45% of heavy video game players and nearly a third of passionate gamers are in the 6 to 17 years old age group. According to this, it is clear that children under 10 years old are easily affected with video game. Behind all those things, video game has many positive sides for children, because it can introduces children to computer and technology, some games provide practice in problem solving and logic, and video game can help children’s imagination.

Today in globalization era, we must master many technological things, especially computer, because nowadays many things can be done by computer (Personal Computer – PC). If we mastered the computer, so our children must master it too, at least know and try it before mastering the computer. One of the way to attract children is by giving them some interesting games. If the children attracted and want to try the computer, I mean the game, it means we have introduced them to computer and technology. The fact is, introducing children to computer by attract them with game can be an effective way to start introducing children to technological things. Let’s think about it. After our children try the computer, try the game we offered (educating game of course), our children must be interested with the computer itself. So the children will be anxious to find out more about the computer. It is clear that video game can introduces children to computer and technology. But, parents should wary about this thing. Over dependence on video game could make social isolation, as they are often played alone. Parents must wary if their children become addicted to stand alone in front of computer playing a game or something, and hardly ever playing outside with their friends, because this means their children are beginning to be isolated from outside world. This is logical, if we were wrong in supervising them, the children will be out of our control, play constantly, all the time, and they can be very addicted even obsessed with the game they played. According to the research did in United States, from 5000 respondents aged 11 – 17 years old, about 2000 of them said that playing game alone is more interesting. From another study in England, they found that 2 % of children aged 7 – 10 years old in England like to play alone in front of their computer. This research and study prove that playing alone is enjoyed by teenagers and children under 10 years old. This is dangerous for their social life, because in their age, it is time to get and find friends, many friends for their life and happiness. These all happen unless they like to bring their friend to play together. Remember, computer game can be played together, for two people, three people, and many more.

For many years many parents did not believe that video game can help growth process of children. They thought video game can’t gives positive effect for children. They think video games make them lazy and make them difficult to study. That’s an old-fashioned thinking. Why don’t they imagine how if there are some games that can help children’s education? Yes, in reality, there are some kind of games that provide practice in problem solving and logic. The example is like a chess or tetris. This is a game, right? Video game to be exact, right? It is clear, it can train children’s brain to solve problem and to use their logical thinking. There are more games that can helpful for This is good for them, because in age 6 – 10 years old children are in their growing period. Because in growing period child’s brain is easy to develop, to grow, and easy to be trained and to be formed. Let’s think about it. If we can provide practice for our children’s brain from the beginning, why not? Why we always blame video games in children’s brain annoyance? Let’s accept this reality, that some kind of video games can bring children logical training and problem solving. To tell the truth, unfortunately, it is difficult to find game developer that produce educating game. Many games offer an arena of weapons, killings, kicking, stabbing, and shooting. Ironically, these kinds of games are popular among teenagers. Whereas we know the bad effect that they can get from these kinds of games. They can be forced to imitate all scenes and actions in these games. The worst risk is it can make physical injury, even dead. We all know in Indonesia, in the end of 2006 and early 2007, because of the “Smack Down fever”, many children imitate actions in that game, like slamming, smashing, slapping, and kicking. The victims are so many, many injured victims, even dead. This is ironic, when children under 10 years old must have good education, good supervising, their way of thinking annoyed with brutal games like that because parents’ neglectfulness.

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