Is Computer/Video Games Bad for





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Is Computer/Video Games Bad for Your Children?

Dr Alex Tang


That is a question many parents ask. Is computer or video games bad for our kids? Is it bad for their learning? Will it make them violent and anti social? Answering the last question first, children becoming violent after spending too much time playing violent computer/video games is a recognised phenomenon.

However, there are other contributing factors such as absent or abusive fathers, dysfunctional families, personality disorders, socio-economic factors, and gangsterism. So, there is not a clear yes or no answer.

Is it good for them? Depends. It is now recognised that children who played computer/video games makes better surgeons because of better hand-eye coordination. I know of some trainee surgeons are beginning to play computer/video games to improve their hand-eye coordination. My comment to them is , good try, but you're too old, too late.

Don Norman gave an interesting talk on The Future of Education: Lessons Learned from Video Games and Museum Exhibits at a COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF EDUCATION AND SOCIAL POLICY: June 2001 he makes an interesting observation.

Children, we are told, have short attention spans, caused, of course, by the prevalence of games and TV and commercials in our society. Nonsense. Watch people at video games. You can't tear them away. More importantly, they truly are exercising their minds. They problem-solve. They take notes, read books of hints and strategy. They save the game state, try out a new course of action, and if it doesn't work, return to the saved game state. And they form social communities, sharing hints, tips, and methods. Many of you will understand, for you do it too.

Times have changed. Game play has become more complex. It can be a good learning experience. Professional organisations are using stimulation games to train their employees. Game theory are used in fields as diverse as economics and the stockmarket. However as parents, we still need to vet through the games we allow our children to play. This means we have to know about enough about computer/video games to advise them.


|posted 20 April 2007|








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