How Video Games May Influence Your Children - Jiran

How Video Games May Influence Your Children

Quit being in the dark and uncover the facts

Published on 11 January 2022

Gone are the days of parents scolding their children for playing one too many games on a school night. Gaming is currently one of the most lucrative industries, beating the film and music business combined total grossing.

More recently, the strict lockdown measures imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 have accelerated the gaming industry’s revenues. Video game sales skyrocketed with an increase of around 218% compared to 2020, reports Telemedia Online. In-game purchases as well as paid downloads are also seeing a constant rise.

With the advancement of modern games, specifically online gaming, it is without a doubt concerning when we see our kids pouring all their time into a pastime or hobby that seems to be of little to no value to us. The question is, what influence could video games potentially impose on a child and in what capacity? Read on to find out some of the ways these games can positively impact your children.

Improves peer relationships and social skills

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The demographics of games have shifted to a wider paradigm. With the increase of immersive gameplay, it requires players to work together and communicate effectively in the most efficient manner to achieve a common goal.

Where some children may find difficulty communicating in real life due to shyness, they can regulate themselves and communicate more freely online than in a physical setting because the gaming community is where gamers can connect with others and build confidence.

Moreover, the best way to help build your child’s social skills is to allow them to have shared experiences with their peers. Restricting them indefinitely is unhealthy as it may result in seclusion and disconnect.

Blow off steam

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Hobby choices differ as generations progress due to technological advancements and new resources that are available. Flower pressing may have been a more popular hobby in the 1800s but it is very rare and even unheard of today.

The way of escape for many of today’s youths is to play video games. Be it console gaming or through multiplayer games, encourage your children to engage in healthy gaming consumption by setting boundaries, monitoring the games they play or involving them with a healthy community who shares the same interests.

Parents are advised to take a neutral position. Some games are built to ease nerves and reduce anxiety while others may instead cause your child to be on edge due to intense gameplay.

Whichever it is, understand your child’s gaming behaviour and filter through the vast array of games in the market through reviews and recommendations so that you can have a better understanding of their hobbies and interests.

Practise caution and moderation

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Nevertheless, one cannot deny that the problem is that video games are just designed to be so engaging and immersive. It’s no wonder we find ourselves easily hooked on gaming, what more our children.

Although more research has emerged to debunk the negative impact of video games, this does not mean that parents or guardians should allow unrestricted gameplay as children may be exposed to illicit content or rude gamers.

Setting boundaries together and installing monitoring software can help to encourage healthy gaming.  The most useful tip of them all is to simply experience the game yourself! Test the apps or play the games with your children to not only form bonds and create topics of interest, but also to give yourself peace of mind whilst allowing for a fun time with your child.

Look out for potential traps

Engaging storylines and creative problem-solving missions are not the only factors developers are looking to improve. They also seek to introduce more mechanics that can possibly engage the gamer longer and motivate them to spend more effort, time or money.

This is especially rampant now with mobile gaming and gacha genre games. One must spend in-game currency to obtain boxes or packs, or collect items, cards, and characters, which are then used to battle other players and complete challenges. These cards and characters also typically have variations to them, such as star rankings or levels.

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Here’s the catch: the highest-ranking and most powerful collectibles are usually very rare and difficult to obtain.

For a gamer to acquire a coveted ‘skin’ or character, they would have to expend much effort through grinding levels or meeting the minimum requirements of game time or wins. Gacha games can be fun experiences, even when no money is spent.

However, subjects like the designs of the characters and the difficulty of the dungeons are designed to get you to potentially gamble. It is important to recognise that these games are borderline predatory and resist their efforts to siphon your wallet.

For better or for worse, make choices together

Video gaming, specifically online gaming addiction, is a real psychological problem but at the same time, completely banning it from your homes may prove to be detrimental to your child’s development. As the saying goes, stolen food tastes sweeter; have an open communication about boundaries with your children rather than snooping around and lying.

The conclusion is video games are both good and bad depending on what you make of it. Deciding on where video games stand in the day-to-day activity of your children should be made together with them through active discussion and research. After all, children learn from what the parents show than what the parents say.

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