How 'deadly' are video games?
'Clobber him, jump and punch.' These are not the words coming out of a boxing arena, but of children sitting engrossed in the dimly- lit cubicles in gaming parlours. From bike race to virtual warfare, every game is played with so much vigour that it leaves the onlooker wondering about its impact on the psychological health of the children.
Many kids enter gaming centres in the morning and are glued to the screens till sunset, making them gaming addicts. Little do they know what impact it has on health in general, mental health in particular.
One of the most common medical problems connected to playing computer/video games is the crooked posture. There is a huge percentage of children having developed a hunch for they frequently play computer/video-games. Apart from these, some are susceptible to sleeplessness, obesity and other health hazards, all caused by continuously sitting before computers.
While the physical problems can be set right with proper treatment, the impact of these games on the mind of the young ones is heavy. According to Dr Sunil Shankar, a behavioural psychologist, ' most of the games have conflict and clashes as the theme. On playing such video games, a kind of 'no guilt' feeling arises and this slowly incites the children to commit crimes. ' He says that by playing games which have killing as the criteria to win, the intention to hurt a person in real life arises as the gaming totally desensitises the mind and leaves a person depraved.
On behavioural change, he says youngsters start speaking a entirely peculiar lingo and get into cult-like formation. 'They try to stay away from society and remain in an unrealistic world of their own,' he says. The craze for the games may also tempt the child to steal money so that he could visit game parlours. Games based on law evasion in due process corrupts the mind of the kids.
If such are the immoral aspects of the game why do these kids frequent the game parlours? 'I feel bored at home as my parents go for work. As most of my friends are regulars at the gaming joints , I also join them,' says Rohan, a sixth standard student. What he says cannot be ignored completely as parents don't find time to spend with their wards and this leads to a sense of loneliness and depression in the kid. 'And moreover peer pressure also plays an dominant role in the child frequenting the parlours,' adds Dr Sunil. While dwelling on these facts one is left asking this question: Is this the gift of technological development?
- VIVEK NARAYANAN
Edited by: lizwool at: 5/22/06 16:47