About this sample
About this sample
5 pages /
5 pages /
One of the ideas that the twenty-first century has brought to us is a new form of play and how often we as individuals associate it with technology. But why do we associate it with technology and what is that reason? Our perception and the whole spectrum of play has been changed which is due to technology itself and that is just one of the aspects that the author plans on focusing. But what is more important is the fact that whether digitalization of games has contributed in the degradation of society or benefited it and what are the certain arguments revolving around this issue. Although, video games have rendered old traditions of play such as the existing playgrounds useless the author tends to shed a more informative light on the idea of play and its meaning in this world that we live in that revolves around a massive database of information known as the internet.
In, this fast paced world most of the time for people goes into their work, and the tight schedules of making their life more meaningful but if we stop and think about it for a second there won’t be a satisfactory answer that anyone could come up with. Because of this working individuals like office people, students, and even teenagers end up sitting at home watching television or play video games on their mobile phones and other digital devices. There is no time for people, or they cannot make time to go and play outdoor games like they used to anymore.In the article ‘Technology As Play’, Nicolla Yelland (1999: 217) mentions that play is of utmost importance in the four cognitive stages of a child’s development and learning. The child when in infant stage, learns to interact and engage with objects and certain elements present in the environment and later on as the child grows up parents play a vital role in connecting and creating a bond between each other through playfulness.
The psychological and socio – cultural norms of existing works done by Issacs, Montessori, Froebel, and Steiner reinforces the idea that these four cognitive learning stages in a person’s life that are mandatory and cannot be neglected (ibid.: 217).These stages are not something considered as extraordinary, but the fact that it’s normal for every person to go through these stages. But since digital media and devices have entered the realm of humanity the bond that was supposed to be there between parents and children had now been broken. Toddlers end up with such sophisticated devices such as smartphones which they are inexperienced with. But since time has been considered as an important attribute for elders, they leave the child neglected and the only companion they are left with are with devices that are almost alien or too far off for them to comprehend.
This causes a major problem in both the development, and the learning for the child since the young individual completely skips one of these important stages of cognitive and social development. This does not only affect the child but even the adults of those particular children. Depriving a child parental attention causes a loss for parents in terms of behavior. Stress and anxiety levels are lowered when interacting with your child and the feeling of depression can be cured through this. Also feeling the sense of no control over one’s child later on is attributed on personal inadequacy by that particular parent which could be shattering and emotionally traumatizing (Hembree-Kigin and McNeil 1995: 2).
Playing with a child involves patience and hard work since there is a constant demand of observation, listening, supporting and understanding. All this is impossible if a parent can’t create time and thus, the child looks for alternative methods such as television and video games since they provide instant gratification and at the same time a constant habit. Teenagers then grow up to be hooked onto social media, and the internet detaching themselves from friends, relatives, and even their own family. The child tends to socialize with three main important factors such as peers, family and out-of-home context such as playground, classroom or any other particular space which structures the mind of the individual on the basis of the experiences that he/she would gain. These are certain life lessons that are integral in the part of a human but shunning out almost all the above interactions robs the child of such opportunities and end up having a rigid perception due to lack of experiences.
Although, there are various kinds of video games such as shooter, adventure, action, puzzle and many more, only a handful or even less are considered to help both children and adults. Few such games can be in a form of a puzzle that can be implemented in schools and colleges to introduce a new way of learning for children. But why do teenagers and even young adults between the age group of 19 to 25 get hooked on to them? What is that element or feature that video games provide to their users that outdoor games cannot. It is true that they are a major source for entertainment but as Alice Mitchell and Carol Savill-Smith (2004: 7) state there is more to just entertainment. Video games for them is a door way to be considered cool and accepted amongst their peer groups.
This is where one should differentiate between the needs of the two genders male and female. The male engages with such games in order to impress or accept challenges while the female does it to receive peer approval. Also boys tend to spend more time playing digital games compared to girls and are less affected by violent and aggressive games such as games belonging to fighting and beat ‘em-up genres. Studies also show that girls use internet more for academic reasons while boys do it to communicate such as social media or through mails. Although the beginning of the digital games and its various genres were successful in catching the attention of children and youngsters, in today’s world such video games are not just played for fun or even entertainment purposes.
Gaming is also considered as a business, and for some a livelihood. It is available easily with games are in hand held devices such as smartphones, Game Boy and many more. Then came the sophisticated and complex gaming consoles such as the Xbox and Playstation that signified the coming of a new age in the history of gaming. At, this stage video games didn’t just provide entertainment to its users but quality goods on the basis of graphics. The gaming industry had evolved through a certain stages from being carefree and fun to serious, competitive power factory that included huge well known gaming brands such as Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft who started mass producing not only games but even gaming consoles. This is something that board games or even outdoor games could not accomplish.
Video games took virtual and augmented reality to the next level and with the emergence of Oculus Rift, the gaming experience was nothing like it was ever before. A person can never expect a sports game or any board/card game to give you the experience of living in a virtual realistic world but video games have accomplished that. The user can do that and feel as if he/she is living that particular moment in a game and most of these are experiences and incidents that one can only dream in action or sci-fi movies. This is one of the reasons why people easily get hooked onto video games compared to outdoor games since they are easily available on our devices and it is quite convenient instead of getting ready to go out even if its just for a brief walk. But unlike board games or outdoor games, video games may not necessarily be giving the same pleasure or relaxation to the individual; Instead, they could be taking and in turn not giving back anything to the person who engages with such devices or consoles. Incidents of seizures and lack of sleep are quite common and though video games may help in the development of motor and cognitive skills, it might also be possible that exposure to excess games could lead to pent up aggression in a person especially if that individual has been heavily influenced by violent games.
A recent psychological test was done where players were told to play a certain game called ‘Doom’ which is considered under the category ‘PEGI 18’, the full form being ‘Pan European Game Information’. It is a shooter game and the result was the fact that signs of self aggression and associating oneself with their own violent traits was noted at a certain degree (Darling 2004: 41-52). Such acts of violence and competition are both an integral part of the marketing strategies that the gaming industry tends to adopt and that is the truth of the matter. The role of outdoor games is to create a bridge between the child and reality. Sports games such as football, tennis, and many others teach children the lesson of win and lose and improve themselves by acquiring certain skills.
Cognitive games such as chess or jigsaw puzzles help improve the memory and thinking process of the child. But video games teach children to propagate violence and obsessions. Of course there are exceptions of educational games that have been included digitally that encourage self-learning, memory and thinking capability but at the same time it will be unfair to completely disregard recreational games that are created solely to get addicted to it. Unfortunately the wider spectrum of the audience who are exposed to such games are present in the latter and by saying addicted the author tries to bring the attention to how obsessive these games can get that it could make a human do unimaginable things, things that are not considered normal and need immediate attention.
Believe it or not but high-profile cases and incidents are also quite common which revolve around video games. A mother leaving her three year old child to die of malnutrition while playing ‘World Of Warcraft’ or a seventeen-year old teenager shooting both parents just because they took away a video game from him are just a handful of horrifying incidents or facts of what these games can make us do. In the book ‘Journal of Medical Ethics’ the author states that issues regarding addiction to online games has become a serious concern for youngsters especially the adolescents at such a degree that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) has introduced ‘Internet Gaming Disorder’ for future studies (Blumenthal-Barby 2014). It could also be said that people usually do play games as they associate themselves with a particular character in that game or even because of stress or anxiety. Depression is one sign of why people tend to escape or withdraw back to the virtual world that digital games tend to offer.
Yes, games can be considered fun and relaxing but through intensive discussions and arguments mentioned before one can probably say for a fact that video games are a tool for exploiting the emotions and probing the subconscious minds of individuals. Although this could be positive but just like a drug even games could provide a certain kind of play that could lead us to be dependent on such entertainment in forms of addiction or obsession. Everyone and everything has a good and a bad side to it and so do video games but in the long run we unconsciously are not aware of the fact that such games are in the process abusing us mentally and both physically until it’s too late.
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