Computer games have been hugely popular since 1980’s. Ever since game technology has been improving at a staggering rate. Present computer games market boasts of a wide plethora of gaming options which include game software which work on a PC, game consoles which are used in conjunction with TV and hand held consoles which have a built in screen. Computer games no longer remain a harmless pastime for most children and adolescent they have become a raging obsession.
As reported by (Mediawise) boys spend an average of 13 hours per week on computer games and adolescent girls spend an average of 5hours per week on computer games. So it is apparent that boys tend to be more interested in computer games. Positive influence of computer games on boys: Teaching and skill building tool: Computer Games are very effective teaching and skill building tools. Interactive educational softwares have been found to be very effective and help young children to grasp subject matter with ease. Computer Games improve hand eye coordination hence they are increasingly used for simulation purposes. As reported by a recent study (Mediawise) computer games are effective in increasing practical skills among surgeons.
Games have been designed for improving strategy formation and decision making sills Influence of Video Games on Boys 2 such games are widely used by management students and practicing managers. These games are a part of academic studies at Business Schools. . Multiplayer Games improve sociability: A study conducted by Joshua Smyth of Syracruse University on 22 October 2007 shows that online multiplayer games are hugely popular among college students.
Games such as World of Warcraft help in increasing a persons sociability because players have an opportunity to build long term friendship with other players. (Science News) Negative effects of computer games on boys: Ailments related to sedentary life style: As boys spend more time on computer games their body suffers from lack of exercise. Some boys who spent most of their time on computer games tend to exercise nothing more then their fingers. “Lack of exercise is responsible for the oesity epidemic among young boys” (Mediawise).
Tendonitis and Carpel Tunnel Syndrome are other physical conditions which young adolescent boys are increasingly effected by. Computer games are responsible for luring adolescent boys away from sports and other similar outdoor activities. Computer games and academic performance: “Time spent playing computer games has negative correlation with academic performance” (Mediawise). As young boys spend more time on computer games they tend to spend lesser time on their academic work. As a result grades slip, and students become academically incapable. Influence of Video Games on Boys 3 Computer Games influence aggressive and criminal behaviour:
Often young boys play games which are not meant for them. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates games based on the amount of violent and sexual content found in the game. “76% of retailers understand the ratings of the game they sell” (Mediawise). Game manufacturers manipulate their advertisement so parents end up buying a game which not intended for their childrens. “Extremely violent games activate the anger centre of brain, amount of time spent playing such games has a positive correlation with criminal behaviour among boys” (Mediawise).
Young boys who spend a lot of time playing violent games become detached with reality, so in real life they begin to expect the ease of achievement which they experience while playing games. Upon encountering difficulties in real life situation these boys tend to show an aggressive and criminal like behaviour. Such boys also tend to be less sociable with their peers. The following is a list of games which Mediawise recommends as inappropriate for young boys: . • Grand Theft Auto; San Andreas • Halo 2 • Mortal Kombat; Deception • Resident Evil; Outbreak • Rumble in the Roses
Computer games have their pros and cons on one hand they are a great tool for imparting education and aid in skill building on the other hand they may lead to serious consequences for young boys. It is essential for parents to closely monitor their childrens activities. To ensure that young boys are not exposed to content which is not meant for them, parents should educate Influence of Video Games on Boys 4 themselves about the ESRB ratings and only buy those games which are suitable for their childrens age. (Mediawise) provides a list of games which are appropriate for young adolescents:
• ESPN NFL 2 • Pikmin 2 • Sly 2; The Band of Thieves • Jak 3 • Prince of Persia; The Sands of Time The amount of time boys spend on video games, does the greater harm. It is essential that parents monitor and ration the amount of time that their children spend playing computer games. A study reveals that it is unhealthy for adolescents to spend more than 1 or 2 hours in front of an electronic screen for non academic purpose. This includes TV, DVD and Games. Thus parents should ensure that their wards spend nothing more then 7-14 hours a week on electronic entertainment.
Involvement in physical activity and sports is very essential for development of healthy body. Parents should encourage their childrens to take up any form of sport or outdoor recreational activity. This will provide them an alternative form of pleasure and will provide an environment for nurturing their social and team skills which in turn will help in making the child a better adult.
• Media Wise http://www. mediafamily. org/research/report_vgrc_2005. shtml • Science News http://www. sciencedaily. com/releases/2007/10/071019174410. htm