Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Social or anti-social games?

Many people, particularly parents, are concerned about the amount of computer game playing time spent by children.  On the face of it, such games cause today's younger generation to spend yet more time in front of a computer screen.  There is an assumption that all of this takes place in isolated bedrooms up and down the land.  If children didn't get any fresh air then this would certainly be a problem.

But of course children play games, and actually, reality shows that many young people are playing games while socialising with their peers, either in person or online.  Communication is an important and natural thing for them to do while they pursue the enjoyment of gaming.  In fact many adults don't understand the concept of multitasking like this because in their generation it was different.  A change has taken place and is continuing to take place.  Secondly, many of the games which are popular actually involve thinking about moral or ethical issues, making decisions about the welfare and development of others in a community or involve some aspect of social care.  And thirdly, more and more young people will have mobile devices as time goes on which allows them to play games anywhere, outside, inside, wherever they are and whoever they are with.  In fact, in future, I think there will be more older people who are playing games of one sort or another too... I wonder if their view of the younger generation will change? 

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