Research conducted by Kaspersky in May 2020 found that four out of 10 parents from Southeast Asia think that their kids get ‘more grumpy than usual’ after playing a video or online game.
However, in the same study entitled ‘More Connected than Ever Before: How We Build Our Digital Comfort Zones,’ 63% of the 760 respondents from the region said their kids now spend more time online than before the pandemic—as most of us are advised to stay at home to help curtail the spread of the new coronavirus.
“Parents are raising kids who are digital natives, children who are born exposed to digital devices and the internet,” said Kaspersky Managing Director for Asia Pacific Stephan Neumeier. “This generation gap often leads to miscommunication as it is a common scenario when a child knows more trends and tricks online than the mom or dad. The lockdown measures highlighted this with the increase of reliance on the internet and how parents now need to juggle work and parenting at the same time inside their homes.”
Neumeier also emphasized that while there could be risky effects of playing games to children, it is undeniable that it can also bring about lots of benefits. “After all, everything is good but moderation and guidance are definitely necessary,” he said.
Kaspersky shares the possible problems that may arise from kids playing video games and the corresponding suggested solutions.
1. Prohibiting a child from playing a video game may back-fire.
Some parents who think their child is playing too much video or online games tend to resort to a gaming ban at home. However, this comes with the fear that the child may feel left out if everyone in school plays games. According to experts, a ban on computer games may not be a good decision.
Games are a new kind of art. You can turn it into a useful tool by correctly using it for motivation. Instead of imposing a ban, why not have control over it? There are software or device settings that could be used to manage gaming time. It also helps to talk with the child over limitations and house rules.
*Check out the Kaspersky Safe Kids feature of the latest version of Kaspersky Total Security (available in Lazada or IT stores for P1,390 for a single-user license) if you want to control the child’s gaming time and behavior.
2. Too much playing games may harm the eyesight and affect proper posture.
There is a need to organize the child’s gaming process if he already has vision problems. Prolonged sitting in front of a computer or slouching at the sofa or bed while playing at the smartphone can affect posture.
To manage this issue, you can install a good PC monitor that won’t have any adverse impact on eyesight. Make the child observe a comfortable sitting position while playing, whether on a PC, laptop, or smartphone. Invest in a comfortable chair or a table with ideal height. Promote a comfortable posture and a healthy distance between the eyes and the monitor. Lastly, limiting the time for playing is key. Make the child agree to terms before he is allowed to play.
3. A child playing games may eventually welcome viruses to attack the PC.
Beware as there are some types of malware coming with some online games (especially the pirated versions) that the child may download or install on the PC or device. To protect him from this danger, it helps to educate him about what malware is and how risky it is to patronize pirated copies of games. You may also install a reliable antivirus on your PC or device for guaranteed security if the child accidentally installs malware.
4. Violent games may induce aggressive behavior among kids.
Understand that it is not playing video games that cause aggressive behavior in kids. Such a behavioral issue may arise from some other factors that should be identified and addressed at once. However, it helps if you can monitor the games they play as there are some games out there that may be too bothering for them to cause nightmares and fears.
To address this problem, observe the recommended age rating of games. There is a reason why games recommended for teens aged 16 years and above should be off-limits to 10-year-old kids and younger.