One day, a 9 year old boy was forced by his mom to stop playing video games. They had argued for a moment. Mom said that computer games definitely will not do any good and it’s all about mindless violence. Mom fears that her son’s life will be distracted by the fact that the boy would spend most of his time in front of the screen, without having any time to interact with outside world and learn about something useful. The boy could only shut his mouth, glancing to his screen and wonder when his mom will stop talking.
The occasion described above is happen commonly even in our family. Parents tend to limit their child gaming time as much as they can. In their mind, there will be no knowledge could be learned from video games except violence, brutality, sex, guns, and all the bad things. Yet, most of the children are powerless toward their parent. In most of the occasion, children will take a lose side in that battle, they simply obey what mom order and stop playing, even though in their heart the desire to continue playing is agonizingly high.
If we try to looking from outside the box – and keep the myth that parents are always right aside – we will see that despite all the moaning about goggled eyes and mindless violence, video games are a good thing that have been integrated to family life. In addition, its popularity is increase rapidly faster than any other form of entertainment. So who’s right in this endless debate? Children or parents?
Steven Johnson, author of the book Everything Bad is Good For You, has said that what could be matters from video game is their form, and not their content. Parents often miss the fact that through his interaction to digital world, children will be more aware to the world. They will learn to explore the world and even be more curious toward it. Let’s forget the fact that children might learn to drive car carelessly, they actually will learn about economic from The Sims, learn about strategy from Command Conquer, and learn about team work and strong coordination when they play Counter Strike in multiplayer mode. Even in such game like Flight or Train Simulator, children will learn how to fly a Boeing, Airbus, or about signal traffic systems use in real railroad technology. Furthermore, research by scientist from Oxford University has claimed that playing the video game “Tetris” after a major shock could reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, although there’s still a lot to be done to translate this experimental science result into a potential treatment.
Currently, the staggering success of Nintendo Wii has brought a new paradigm of playing video game: Brain Training for your mind, sight training for your eyes, and physical training for your body. We can play golf as Tiger Woods did, play tennis with Roger Federer in your own living room; even learn to stop smoking by following Allen Carr’s method. With the help of mainstream, games now move into far more social stage, not only play online but now friends gathering in living rooms to dance, sing karaoke, play quizzes or pretend to be in rock bands.
Unfortunately, the story is not end there. Games are still have some drawbacks and could cost people physically. The stiffened joints and gnarled fingers that result from an overly lengthy session with a joypad, or the muscular strains that plague enthusiastic users of the Wii are some of the counterbalance that follow the mental benefits generated by video games. That’s why, a self and time control while playing games is highly necessary. The most important thing is to relax during gaming, since most of people tend to be carried away when playing games. They get frustrated when lose and become addicted when win. Remember, games are just tools for entertainment; they have nothing to do with your pride and your real life. Becoming a smart gamer is really an option.
In the upcoming future, as the world become more uncertainty and economic recession continues, people will be keener than ever to escape into other world-such as video game. There’s nothing wrong about it, but once again, a self control is needed so that we will not become an addicted gamer that only think about his game instead of his real life. By the time goes on, no answer will be satisfying enough to answer our question in the beginning. Who’s right? Children or Parents? The easiest way to answer is: both sides are right, and both should use their arguments to control each other.