Although some people balance their time between computer games and other important developmental activities, some people have been totally incapable of balancing computer games with daily developmental aspects of life such as work, social life, family, and school. The most alarming of these developmental aspects is the increasingly reduced time that adolescents in school are spending on academic work. Research has shown that academics is the “… realm of adolescent life that is most affected by their playing of video games” (Takahashi, 2010, p. 1). This is from the empirical evidence that has been obtained showing that video games have negligible effects on the time that adolescents spend with their families and friends, and other domestic activities. Despite the stated fact, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders in the development of children are increasingly becoming concerned that these games have the potential of interfering with the successful transition of adolescents to adulthood. Parents should look for signs of addiction to computer games in their children. These signs include extended playing time, the laxity of children to perform routine duties like bathing, eating, sleeping, etc while playing and the development of an autistic character in their children.
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Limited Time Spent Playing Computer Games
The playing of computer games may have a substantial effect on social relations. This is because the behavior of people who are addicted to playing computer games bothers a lot of people. It is not, exactly, funny to watch somebody playing computer games, especially at a time when you should be sharing love, harmony, etc with him/her. Therefore, computer games may make the person addicted to them to be despised by people (Scheeres, 2001, p. 1). Other online games like EQ have dating applications. EQ is known to have broken a number of marriages through its application of EQ marriages. This is because these marriages may sometimes extend to real life. Computer games addicts are normally autistic and therefore, they avoid normal human contact. Most of these games are such that the player competes with other players online and thus there is no face-to-face contact between the players. This may lead to the replacement of the real world with online relationships. Online games may even give gambling opportunities to the player. This leads to the development of gambling habits. Gambling is indubitably addictive and negative and thus online gaming should be thoroughly controlled to prevent the acquisition of such habits.
A lot of people in contemporary society are using computers specifically the internet for their entertainment. People are thus spending hours playing remotely installable computer games and games on the internet. Specifically, there are shocking statistics of how online gaming is continually consuming the time of adolescents in school. Therefore, Health care specialists are becoming increasingly worried that the contemporary trends in the playing of video games among adolescents may make them develop psychological problems that may have long-term effects on the social lives of these children. This paper analyses the negative effects of video games on the lives of people who play them.
Addiction to computer games starts with the adventure that is characteristic of adolescents. They are always trying and learning new things. When an adolescent learns of a certain game that is said to be enjoyable, they will most probably try to learn it and this could end up being an addiction. This occurs mostly when the adolescents are free and they have time to have fun. They, therefore, learn these games and extend their gaming to school hours during which they are supposed to be concentrating on schoolwork. “Children may also get addicted to computer games due to boredom and depression (Wood & Griffith, 2007, p. 1). This is because the game provides the player with excitement. Therefore, the games are a sure way to beat boredom. This is how most children get addicted. “Gaming habits may also stem from dispositions such as low self-esteem and anger.” (Bowcott, 2009, p. 1). Thus, low esteemed children may get a sense of achievement after winning a computer game and thus they will habitually play the game to nourish their self-esteem. Depressed children may also feel better after playing a computer game and therefore, they may play the game until they get addicted to it. Another contributor to the addiction of children to playing games is the variety of games that are available on the internet today. It is a common occurrence for a kid to take pride in playing games that are not meant for their age. Therefore, if a kid succeeds in playing a game that is rated above eighteen, he/she is likely to be addicted to the game.
Playing computer games has had the largest impact on adolescents due to their immaturity. Adolescents miss classes while playing computer games and they may even miss meals while playing games. They, therefore, experience the highest level of addiction to computer games. To substantiate this, consider Jeffrey Stark’s case. He is a Canadian high school student residing in Ontario. He recently posted an essay in a forum accusing EQ of having ruined his life. He used to play for a week without taking a proper meal and without bathing. The effect of his addiction was that he stopped attending his classes and was out of school for a whole semester. Another example is a Wisconsin woman who blamed her son’s suicide on Ever Quest. She said that her son, having mental health problems, was an EQ addict before he killed himself. With continued advancement in technology, games are being developed whose graphics have the resemblance of real-life situations (Scheeres, 2001, p. 1). It becomes increasingly difficult for children to keep the fact that they are just games. This leads to children trying to apply the skills they learn from computer games in real-life situations. Therefore children who play violent games tend to be more physically aggressive than their non-gaming counterparts. Youngsters who are addicted to playing computer games can also have their posture affected by the long-playing hours. In addition to this, youngsters can develop dietary and hygiene problems which could substantially affect their health. The addiction to video gaming has also affected children as young as six-year-olds (Jacobs, 2005, p. 17). These cases portray the seriousness of the issue and the need for intervention of society to protect our children from the serious effects of addiction to computer games. Children should be given a maximum time limit for playing computer games to protect them from addiction. Parents should also ensure that children do not play computer games unless they have sufficiently finished everything else that they are required to do. They should therefore be through with their homework, chores, quiet reading time, etc. before they are allowed to play. Another strategy could be the limitation of the playing time by making children earn all their playing time. In this approach, a kid is permitted to play for a given period of time depending on their behavior, responsibility, etc. Parents can also talk to their children before they are completely addicted. After explaining the bad effects of gaming to the child and showing disapproval of too much gaming, a child may restrict himself/herself and therefore avoid getting addicted to playing computer games.
On the other hand, despite the contemporary necessity of children to be conversant with computers, parents and teachers should put up controls to make sure that the time their children/students spend with computers is closely monitored. These controls are meant to eliminate any possibilities of their children/students being addicted to playing computer games (Wood & Griffith, 2007, p. 1). As discussed in the essay above, signs of addiction to computer games could be an indication of another psychological problem. It has been explained that people who are not socially fit will result in computer games in the quest to satisfy their ego. It has also been stated that depressions, low self-esteem and the like could lead to addiction to computer games. Therefore, if a child develops an uncontrolled passion for computer games, his/her parents should be concerned (Takahashi, 2010, p. 1). They should thus investigate the kid to look for other signs of psychological problems and seek psychiatric help if the child is sick. Otherwise, they should put the discussed controls in place to prevent the kid from being addicted to the game.
People who are interested in playing computer games should avoid being addicted to playing these games. This can be achieved through acceptance of responsibility. Thus an individual should be aware that in case he/she becomes addicted to the game, the problem will be in him/her but not the game. This will make the person be able to avoid addiction or beat the addiction. Another method for avoiding being addicted to computer games is the identification of the impact that the games have on an individual (Donna, 2009, p. 1). The player should perform periodic evaluations of how the game is affecting their social life, studies, marriage, etc. This will help the individual to plan improvements on the most affected parts of their lives and therefore, he/she will be able to avoid addiction and the negative effects of addiction to playing these games. Thirdly, a player should set limits. For example, if he/she decides to be playing for thirty minutes a day, he/she should adhere to that. One way of ensuring that he/she sticks to his/her schedule is by choosing games wisely. Hours played per week should also be recorded and closely monitored for the same reasons. It is always wise to avoid open-ended games and games that consume a lot of time (Wood & Griffith, 2007, p. 1). The player should also monitor the number and kind of games he/she purchases/keeps. The player could ensure that his/her collection of games is not more than five different games and that there are a limited number of open-ended games. This will reduce the chances of being addicted to playing these games. Adolescents should also request their parents to strictly monitor their playing time in order to make sure that they do not get addicted to playing computer games. Parents on the other hand should monitor the time their children spend on computer games constantly. Lastly, adolescents who know that they are prone to be addicted to computer games should develop interests in other activities to distract themselves from the games and therefore avoid being addicted to the games.
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Despite the numerous advantages that technology has brought along with it, it has led to a number of problems. For instance, the technology of computers, computer graphics, and computer networks has had a tremendous effect on the entertainment and social realms of life. This is due to the perfect platform they have created for the creation of exciting computer games that attract a lot of online game lovers. This has led to a lot of people jeopardizing their social relationships, work relationships, school, family relationships, etc. due to their addiction to playing computer games (Selvin, 1996, p. 1). As discussed in the essay, addiction to the playing of computer games is very destructive and has many negative effects on almost all realms of an adolescent’s life. Adolescents should therefore take the necessary measures to avoid being addicted to these games and seek psychiatric help in case they find themselves addicted to these games. On the other hand, parents and teachers should set up sufficient controls to ensure that adolescents spend limited time while playing computer games in order to prevent them from being addicted to these games.
From the above discussion, it is apparent that parents need to pay attention to their children’s relationships with others since goodness in interpersonal relationships can be used to determine if a child is addicted to computer games or not. This is due to the stated fact that most addicted children are autistic and they mostly lose appetite, become insomniac and others may completely change their behavior. The reason why addicted children become autistic is due to the fact that they develop characteristics that are antisocial like aggressiveness which makes their friends avoid them.
Bowcott, O. (2009). Online game addiction rising, counselors warn. Web.
Donna, G. (2009). Study Finds Some Youths ‘Addicted’ to Video Games. Web.
Jacobs, S. (2005). Computers, Part of Your Life: A Textbook for Computer Applications Technology. Pretoria. Study Opportunities Printers.
Scheeres, J. (2001). The Quest to End Game Addiction. Web.
Selvin, M. (1996). Neglected homework, forgotten chores. Mom and Dad put the blame squarely on the computer and came up with … A New Game Plan. Web.
Takahashi, D. (2010). Time spent playing video games keeps going up. Web.
Wood, R., & Griffith, M. (2007). Time Loss While Playing Video Games: Is there a Relationship to Addictive Behaviors? Web.