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18th April, 2011

Children and Video Games




Video games became a very common form of entertainment from 80. Currently, its use is widespread among children, mainly the males, however, recently have begun to make games for girls for the purpose of which are also part of the target.

The effects of video games on children have been analyzed and studied by numerous experts. While there are those who say that video games are highly harmful to children and are far more risks than benefits, the view is not unanimous. It is reasonable to think that the effects depend on the use, the type of game (content) and time devoted to them.

Risks of using video games

* In a very small percentage (around 1%) can cause seizures in children with a history due to glare, brightness and   intensity of colors emanating from the screen

* Over-stimulate the nervous system causing excitement and irritation

* Evasion of the real world occur towards the virtual world of video game

* Favor the insulation. Constantly playing video games makes the child is isolated from his friends and family, and will not escape from this world of fantasy

* Encourage a sedentary lifestyle with consequent increased risk of childhood obesity

 * Removed in time for the realization of other games and activities that encourage exercise, physical activity (running, playing ball, etc.).

* Favor the development of eye problems (irritation to the cornea is not lubricated for not flashing), headaches, back problems and tendinitis in the hand and wrist

* The content of video games can be harmful or risky in the chaos that limit creativity and imagination, ie based on repeated practice and identical

* Games whose content is based on racism, xenophobia, violence, sexism, war, etc. are also highly detrimental to the children because they do not forget, your personality is formed and the models are critical at this time. Therefore, if these games are not offset by a model of family values ​​and principles which are tightly bound and go against the video game can take as valid certain behavior and become aggressive, discriminatory, and so on.

Benefits of using video games

    * Stimulate memory, reasoning, visual coordination, spatial orientation and promote the acquisition of manual skills

    * Promote tolerance of failure, because the child will lose many times and will learn to do and endure

    * Favor the ability to pay attention, concentration

    * Favor the decision-making, the ability to resolve conflicts and seek solutions.

Tips for Parents

As already mentioned, while video games have harmful effects for the child, they also have benefits, the key is to control its use, not ban it. Some of the games are not too much harmful for child such as nerf guns game, Child of Eden, Roman Town, Patapon 3, Monster Tale, Lego, SimCity 4, Clifford Phonics, Piglet's Big Game, Finding Nemo etc. Limit the playing time, the contents thereof, etc. In final neither the excess neither the abstinence, to seek an equilibrium that be healthy for the child. In this sense, these suggestions may be helpful:

    * Control and limit the time children use video games, some experts recommend no more than three or four hours per week

    * Control the content of the games that are commensurate to the age, not violent or xenophobic, choosing instead educational games that encourage motor skills

    * Do not allow video games are in your bedroom because it will be very difficult to control the exposure time to isolate them and much more

    * Foster communication and family life. Often children can spend many hours of their lives playing video games because they have enough attention and dedication of its parents. Play video games with them is a good choice for control and in turn, share activities with them

    * Encourage meetings with his old friends, invite them home to play or walks, etc.

    * Provide valid and interesting alternative for the child to not spend that much time playing video games, for example, a family board game, some reading, etc.

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