Video games – Surviving in a digital onslaught

Video games - Surviving in a digital onslaught

By Vincant David:

ISLAMABAD, Aug 27 (APP): The world we live in today has gone far away from the healthy activities of the past, with one of the main reasons being the excessive use of video games overpowering the minds of our kids and teenagers, desiring things to be just ‘One Click Away’.

When it comes to playing video games, surprisingly it is not a popular activity only among kids, teens, and adolescents but also the aged people who spend hours for gaining nothing.

Especially the mothers who once used to spend hours training and educating their children, are now in haste to wind up their routine home activities and rush to their gadgets to play games.

When they are busy in this unhealthy activity, they take their eyes off their children who are busy in the same activity but sometimes playing violent games that leave indelible imprints on their minds.

Violent video games negatively affect the attitudes and behaviors of kids who start living in a fantasy world thinking it a permanent sort of entertainment for them.

These games attract children and teenagers who are often seen discussing features of different games or graphics which also leads them to indulge in such practices in real life.

Some of these video games show killings the people, use of drugs, alcohol, criminal behavior, disrespect to elders, authority and laws while some ask them to do tasks indulging them deeper and deeper in unlocking new features and techniques of games.

Anxiety, intolerance, and distraction from our noble norms and traditions are the very outcome of these violent and indecent video games and we can clearly experience a change in their behavior and psychological problems.

‘They are so deeply involved in this practice that they can hardly get rid of it’ is a growing notion among parents, teachers and physiologists who claim that such kinds of games are harmful not for the kids but for society as a whole.

“Most of the time during summer holidays both of my sons were often seen glued to their mobile phones and laptops,” remarked Sabir Shafique, a father of two 11 and 10-year-old sons. “Even at night when I used to wake around 2:00 or 3:00 a.m., they were seen playing video games.”

How far Sabir Shafique could be successful in mending this habit of his sons, is a million-dollar question but still, he deems it a bad habit that was affecting the acumen of his kids as well as their health and studies.

Spending excessive time playing video games leads to least socializing with friends and family, lower grades in studies, poor health, weakening eyesight and unhealthy brains.

“Children who are addicted to playing violent video games start looking at the world like a game,” said Ayub Khan, another father of video games-mongering kids.

“They try to copy the actions of games in real life and want to be the characters of the games. Therefore they grow up to be aggressive adults in real life.”

Violent video games have multiple effects on children due to technological advancements such as live interaction with the other players, competitive elements and immersive graphics.

A well-known researcher Dr. Zaheer Khan sees teenagers and individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds as more vulnerable to the harmful effects of violent games.

“In developed countries, more effects of the digital divide were observed among the upper class but in countries like Pakistan research yielded opposite results,” he claimed. “People with sedentary lifestyles are more susceptible to the negative consequences of violent games.”

He continued saying, “The violent content in these games can influence players’ minds and may trigger aggression in real-life situations. Therefore, parents are increasingly concerned about the potential link between violent games and self-harming or aggressive behavior of their children.”

Zaheer pleaded that players spending too much time playing violent games to overcome difficult levels may resort to self-harm as a coping mechanism.

“This alarming trend needs parental vigilance and intervention as massive use of mobile phones and other gadgets without parental moderation, is a real cause of concern,” he stated.

Zaheer said that usually, the parents intervene when their children reach an addiction level stressing their monitoring from the very outset as well as keeping an eye on their social circle, as invitations to play these games often originate from friends.

Calling for the implementation of a video game rating system based on a player’s age, Dr Zaheer also recommended physical activity, promoting awareness and parental guidance and a balanced approach to gaming to safeguard the well-being of players and mitigate harmful effects of violent games.

Although it is a challenging task, but some parents have strict discipline at home and discourage massive use of these devices.

“I have specified timing for my kids for studying, spending time with family members and playing games,” said a school teacher Sobia Iftikhar. “After dinner, we have family interaction time and during this period use of mobile phones, laptops, or other gadgets is completely banned.”

“During this time, they play mind games at home or go for a walk outside,” she said and advised the parents to spend more time with their children and engage them in healthy activities.

APP/vad/maz (APP Feature Service)

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