computer; video; games; internet; game sites; coordination; problem; solving;
In the 'olden days', computer and video games were very simple. They didn't need a lot of thinking skills and the graphics were not very good. Kids played them for fun, but as they were so simple they soon became boring and kids went off to do something else.
Nowadays, computer and video games have great graphics - playing many of them is almost like being in a movie!
good things about computer games
There are lots of good things about computer and video games.
- They are fun!
- They improve hand/eye coordination, which means you can think and do things more quickly and correctly.
- You feel good when you can move up the levels and see how well you are doing.
- Most games make you think about what you are going to do, and they help your problem-solving skills.
- Many games help you to remember things like, "last time I went this way and it didn't work out - this time I'll try that way."
- You can play games with a friend, talk about games with others, swap ideas and 'cheats' - it is a good way to be part of a group.
- You can play games on the internet sometimes with people from all over the world.
- Anyone can play computer games, even if they are not very good at sport, have a disability, or find it hard to talk to others.
- You can learn how to make games yourself if you learn some programing skills.
so good things about computer games
Many computer and video games are very violent, and research shows that this violence can affect kids in many ways.
- Kids could get so used to violence that they could become violent in their own lives and think that it is OK to hurt others, or to talk to people, including parents and teachers, in a rude way.
- When someone gets scared or excited, the body makes a chemical called adrenalin. This causes the body to be all ready to fight or to run away by making the heart beat faster, sending more blood round to the muscles to make them ready to act quickly. It is not good for the body to be in this state for long periods of time, and the stress may cause health problems.
- Many games are about beating everyone else, not about working together or helping others, and some people are concerned that kids may keep these same values in their daily lives, eg. by being unhelpful, not wanting to share, not wanting to take turns and not doing all the other kind behaviours that make being a human so special.
- Playing games for a long time means that kids don't get out and exercise so much. Doctors are concerned about kids being overweight and unfit, and eating unhealthy snack foods while they play games.
- Game playing is like an addiction to some people. They play or think about playing games and how they can win for most of their time, which means that they don't learn well in school, don't socialise with others and can become really boring people to be around!
- There has been a lot of research into the effects of computer games on kids health. Check out our topic 'Computers and your health.'
kids say about computer games
- "Sometimes I am playing so hard that my hand hurts and I have to swap hands on the mouse." Alex
- "My neck used to hurt but I have a really cool chair now and I can move it around to be really comfortable." Jason
- "Some games have people blowing up and you can see all the bits. It's yucky and makes me feel sick. I don't play those, but my brother does." Melanie
- "I like games where you have to work things out, like running a zoo and looking after all the animals. If you don't do it well, then you have to lose the animals." Chloe
- "Computers are fun, computers are great
But now and then you need a break
On your last level of the Blast
Your mum comes in and you are last!"
- "I like games with action and adventure and sometimes with weapons and cool cars."
The point is: if you want to play computer games, keep spare time for exercise and always eat healthy stuff, not chips.
Some great sites to visit
There are lots of sites on the Internet where you can play games. Some are fairly easy and can help you learn, like the games on this site. Some are educational, and you can learn a lot when you use them. Some are about problem-solving in real life situations, and they can be really interesting and challenging. But check them out carefully with mum or dad or whoever cares for you, as some of these sites can turn out to cost money or are not really for kids.
Computer games are a great way to learn how to do things. When you are an adult you may find that gaming skills can help in training for your job. Many computer games help kids to learn about their feelings, beliefs, problems, as well as being a fun thing to do. Make sure that you leave plenty of time in your life for playing outside with other kids, being a helpful person in the family and keeping fit and active. Having a healthy life is like having a healthy diet. 2 hours maximum a day is the recommended 'dose'.
You need to have a balance of different things. Too much playing of computer games is like too many sweet treats!
You could have a look at the Teens entertainment and technology section of the Raising Children Network site with your parents or carers so you can find out how to stay safe online, and also ways that you might have more fun.
Left, left, left, right, right, right,
Up, up, down, down with all my might.
Heart is racing,
I'm really trying!
Got it! Great! Now I'm through
All the way to level two!
Feel exhausted, fingers wood
"What's that you say, I'm no good?
Level 6 you-- and your brother?
Argh give me a go. I'm only a mother!"
We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.