Computer games are popular with children in all ages and nationalities. Parents may think they have little educational value and can have harmful effects. What do you think?
I think that it depends on the game that is being played, but of course there are some harmful effects no matter what game is being played, unless you follow certain precautions.
To begin, I have several friends from countries where English isn’t the native language. I met these friends while playing computer games when I was a little boy not even having entered my teens. The reason for me mentioning this is that when I speak to my friends now, it is hard to tell their English apart from a native speakers. That is most likely the result of having been in the middle of an English speaking environment ever since they were young. So to say that they have little educational value in a society where English is becoming a more and more desired skill is not quite correct.
Other than that, studies have shown that people who play computer games have an increased sense of logic. This leads to people becoming better at solving problems, which is an attractive skill in today’s job market.
On the other hand, spending time staring at a television or a computer screen can of course damage your vision. To avoid this it is important to have proper lighting in your room, and also to take occasional breaks which will allow your eyes to relax. However, this goes for almost anything that is done from a short distance. For example, as a teacher in China I have noticed that almost half of my students in practically any classroom I enter are wearing glasses. This is due to the high amount of time students spend reading books, and just like how computer games can harm your eyes, so can books. Does that mean that books should be considered harmful? No, it means that it is important to take occasional breaks and keep the lighting at a proper level.
Furthermore, playing computer games can lead to people turning introvert. In my opinion this is the real danger of computer games, but that problem can also be avoided by proper parenting. For example, if a child is being bullied in school but is being treated as a God in a game, it is quite common for that child to spend more time in the amazing world that he or she has found hidden in a computer game. If the parents note that this is starting to happen, it is important that they take action and limit the amount of time their son or daughter is spending in front of the computer. Besides that, it is also essential that they deal with the core of the problem and find out why their child is being bullied.
To conclude, I think that computer games could have harmful effects, just like almost anything else could have harmful effects if not practiced the right way. To avoid those effects, make sure that you keep yourself under control and protect your body by giving it time to rest. For parents, remember that your child might be experiencing something difficult in his real life, allowing your child to escape those problems is totally fine, but make sure that he or she doesn’t forget about activities outside of the game, seeing as he or she will be entering a variety of social environments during his lifetime.