High internet speed, busy parents, and lack of reading habits has led the young generation get hooked to the online gaming world. With the internet connecting the world, it exposes the child to paedophiles, hackers, blackmailers, etc. Video games in a pre-digital era were without the inter-connectivity of the internet. The games were played in a room with friends and family members. With the digital revolution, games have become more connected and violent. We are trying to convey the Impact of online games on young minds and the guidelines to all parents to overcome from this impact.
Teens and adults find online games fascinating and gripping because:
Researchers have shown that playing videos games are beneficial as they help in hand-eye coordination, decision-making ability, spatial ability, etc. However, this false sense of achievement and security can give rise to online gaming addiction.
Online gaming addiction is a known addiction in Japan and many families have run away children because of this addiction. A research was done by Indian Journal Psychiatry, in which 987 adolescents took part, 681 (68.9%) were female and 306 (31.1%) were males. This study evaluated candidates based on internet usage, anxiety, depression, and anxiety depression. Of the total, about 74.5% were moderate (average) users, 24.8% as possible addicts, and 0.7% as addicts.
Some of the most popular online games are laden with profanity, suggestive nudity, and violence. For example, one of the most popular games called Grand Theft Auto 2 is promoted as a game for teenagers but is far from that. It promotes violent behaviour, foul language, intense graphics and is sexually explicit.
Another combat game called Wolfenstein is bloody, gory and has ample violence, strong language, use of drugs and explicit sexual content.
Some names can mislead the parents. Games such as South Park and Naughty Bear are nothing like their names. Naughty Bear is about a sociopathic bear who beats up peers until they commit suicide.
Such violent games promote imaginative suicide and mismanagement of anger. Research shows that at some point, teenagers were found to be numb to hostile behaviour or violence. Online gaming can also affect a child’s social life. A gamer is so immersed in the game that eventually he would want to be excluded from all social gatherings or even avoid meeting his friends. Not to mention, the effect it has on academics.
Your child is your top priority. Build a connection with him that is so strong and open that conversations are fluid. Then the Impact of online games on young minds may divert towards you. Your child should know that you care and are there to help.
Set boundaries that will help create a balance between some downtime and activities so that a child does not feel deprived of the gaming experience.
Also read: 5 ways to understand teenagers better