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It is very striking to see how technology has entered our lives and how sadly it is changing our traditions. In this case the theme of the games is presented, about how they have been breaking even in the lives of the youngest children. We are no longer surprised to see a baby playing with his dad’s cell phone. Children at younger ages are demanding technological toys; As is the case with video games? Where were the tops, the marbles or the hidden ones?
The ways of playing are changing and the education of children is being transformed with the innovation of these electronic toys.
The main difference between both kinds of games is the type of activity that they require from the person, so that, with each type of toy we are stimulating and favoring different learning. The consoles, videogames, children’s computers, television, etc., in itself, there is no child who does not know them and most use them in a leisure time, and they even become their favorite toys. Playing in this way does not imply discarding the traditional like the tops, the strings; because each activity complements the other and provides certain benefits . The same pedagogues assure that the virtual era helps the development of the fine motor part, that is, the fingers, the view and the brain, but leaves aside the socialization, which makes the person who plays them more individualistic and passive , but there is no greater contribution.
In the case of a videogame , the child must choose between a series of responses and pre-established, closed actions. The imagination of the child is stimulated, yes, but its creativity is reduced to the discovery of the causal relationships that exist between the possibilities offered by the game.
On the contrary, the traditional toy , a stuffed doll, a plasticine box, offers more questions than answers . The imagination and creativity of the child have to complete all the solutions that the toy does not offer: where will the doll live ?, what will it be called ?, will you like the spaghetti ?, will you get along with the bear? …
Some studies have shown that, for example, video games stimulate the psychomotor coordination of the child, their strategies for solving problems under certain conditions, the ability to persevere in a task … In addition, they provide some experiences that they can not live through. traditional games, there are even specific games to deal with some disabilities or learning problems ….
Through the game, the child rehearses and practices many of the activities that he will face in adult life. For this reason, after four years, a large part of the child’s play activity is invested in the imitation of models . And normally these models are taken from the adults that surround the child.
Then play with electronic toys that require the use of joysticks, mice, buttons and keys, screens or interfaces … will ensure the subsequent adaptation of the child to the technological world in which we live.
The problem is that of desensitization . Just as a child adopts patterns of behavior through play, he also acquires values and attitudes. And in many of these games, however virtual they may be, violence is normalized as a means to resolve conflicts, or discriminatory behaviors are justified .
Several things happen if children are stuck to the screens a long time:
They do not interact with the family , or they do much less.
They do not know other people, other children and adults
Do not speak.
They do not move from the seat , and as we know sedentary lifestyle is an enemy of health.
The sight gets tired by being continuously focused on looking so closely. The habitual thing is that the eye goes alternating the vision of near and far. On the changes of color and brightness of the screen there are different opinions regarding the effect on the view; In any case, the abuse is discouraged and the video games alternated with other activities.
They do not learn new games (or at the most they know new videogames, but they usually “get hooked” to the same game). Then the imagination flies less .
They do not learn about the medium through c Direct contact, through actual experience , much richer than if they are through the screens.
Video games can be a resource to entertain and learn different skills and concepts, provided they are used in an appropriate way and we know how to choose the games that are appropriate for their age and interests. Keeping children away from the screens will not only be an unsuccessful task in a matter of time, but can be counterproductive and limit an emergent cultural space in which they will develop throughout their lives, in the same way that we do and we do. The key to video games do not monopolize our children is to control the game, time and company.
Set a schedule for the use of video games.
Offer alternatives to the machines . Although playing can be very educational, it must be combined with other different activities, outdoor games, traditional games, readings …
Avoid playing alone . Fortunately, there is more and more offer of machines to play in company. But if they are individual games, parents can be with them to see how they develop, comment on the plays, ask them if they share the game …
Playing with the family, with friends and in a common place in the house (not locked only in the room) would be the best way to avoid the isolation to which videogames sometimes lead.
Exploit the games that invite the movement . Companies have started to launch videogames and platforms that encourage exercise, to fight sedentary lifestyle and play as a family, to avoid problems such as obesity and the sedentary lifestyle of players.
Parents should get up to speed on videogames, know what their children are talking about, try the games to discover the most appropriate content and the tastes and interests of their children.
To buy the right videogame, it is convenient to know what the symbols that appear on the covers mean to classify them and choose the one appropriate to the age of the children.
Procure variety so that not all games are of the same type, structure, content, format …
With these simple tips we will make videogames an educational and fun resource without becoming an element of risk that affects the visual health of our children, their body mass or their behavior or their social relationships.
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