We have all seen the effects of some games on children. It is important as a parent to be aware. Children today tend to favor computer games over board games. Many parents face questions about wise and age-appropriate use of the Internet, social networks and also about the computer games in front of which children can spend hours upon hours. In light of the rise in Israeli society of violence and aggression among children and adolescents, the question also arises as to whether computer games and in particular violent computer games contribute to this and what parents can do to prevent excessive use of computer games and adverse effects on children. In recent years, the issue has come up for discussion in the media and more research has been conducted on the subject also due to the demand of legislative bodies in various countries around the world. Recent studies challenge widespread advocacy and show that there is no clear link between violent computer games and violence and aggression among children and adolescents and that they are just part of a broader worldview of the adolescent and influencing factors (2012, Ferguson, San Miguel, Garza & Jerabeck).
At the same time, the answer to the question of their impact on computer games, as always, is complex. One mechanism that works in computer games is the child’s identification with the aggressive characters, which occurs more prominently at younger ages when it is difficult for children to separate the game world from reality. In such situations the child may perceive the violence in the game as justified and perceive the aggressive scenarios in the game as realistic and a legitimate way of solving problems in external reality, for example with their peers. However, without problem-solving they can get into problematic situations in front of the environment.
Benefits of games
It is important to remember that there is a huge variety of computer games for different ages and not all of them are violent, although these are very common. Among the benefits of computer games can be found the possibility of stress relief, improvement of various cognitive abilities and learning of thinking and problem-solving strategies. In addition, for some children computer games provide a platform for expression, empowerment, empowerment and feelings of control and this aspect is especially important for children who do not get to feel this way in other areas. Networking/social games can help children develop social interaction, and this contribution can be especially beneficial for those who have difficulty doing so in the real world (but of course it is not advisable to completely replace them).
It is worthwhile to explain and mediate to young children how to understand the game and the things that happen in it, and to emphasize the difference between the world of play and reality. It is also important to teach them games off the computer. Once that, use boards or a SkullSplitter Dice for extra fun. Encourage the use of non-violent computer games, such as board games, logic games, and strategy games.
Photo by John Benitez