Gaming: a new perspective for parents

April 27, 2023

Image by Rene from Pixabay

Shamira Begum gives an insight into the benefits of her favourite pastime

We are all aware of the negative side about gaming. Too much gaming can isolate young people which can lead to not having a social life, being pulled into gambling and such, as well as all the snacking and not getting enough exercise.

This is the miserable picture, but what if that’s not the whole picture? Media stories always like to focus on the negative side but what if there’s more to it?

So, what I think about gaming and what it does to us is that it can be good but bad at the same time. For me, I really enjoy gaming. It’s fun and sometimes it helps me in ways that no one can understand.

Most people think it’s a waste of time and doesn’t do any good but Minecraft helps us be creative and learn how glass can be made, for example. According to advice I found on Google we should play for about an hour or two a day, but as a gamer that is basically just a game or two, depending what game it is.

I think the average time we should play is four hours. You, the reader, are probably thinking that is too much but if you think about it, it’s not.

If you don’t want your kids to play four hours straight, you can break up the time

Your kids come home from school and its 3:30pm and they have seven hours of free time. Most kids want to relax and not think about school but there’s a better way to balance the time, with gaming and all the other important things.

Kids can study and do homework for one hour, spend time with family for one hour and maybe do some chores for one hour. Now that is three hours of doing something other than gaming and there’s still four hours left till bedtime.

If you don’t want your kids to play four hours straight, you can break up the time. For example, study for one hour, play games for two hours, do chores for one hour, play games for another two hours and then the last hour can be family time.

Some may ask what the benefits of gaming are. Well here they are:

  1. Increase brain speed and concentration
  2. Improve multitasking skills
  3. Offer a new way to understand different cultures and perspectives
  4. Build skills for future career

Build skills for a career? You’re probably thinking how so? Well ladies and gentlemen, the more complicated online games are, the better and here are the reasons why: they teach the us how to be strategic and analyse the risks and rewards.

Games also help us have a creative mind and think outside of the box

This type of gaming benefits children because the skills developed can be useful to the real-world jobs which can often rely on problem solving and strategic thinking. Games also help us have a creative mind and think outside of the box.

While gaming risks exist, there are also risks in everything we do. How do parents keep calm and assess the situation? Maybe there are gains to be had from gaming that are less talked about.

Now you may be thinking about the risks of your child, speaking to some random person online. Well, there are many ways to protect your child from randoms. On Xbox and PS (PlayStation) there’s a setting that means no one can message you at all without permission.

Here is the guide to change your settings on Xbox:

  1. Press the Xbox button to open the guide
  2. Select ‘Profile & system’ > ‘Settings’ > ‘Account’ > ‘Privacy & online safety’ > ‘Xbox privacy’
  3. Select the ‘Child’, ‘Teen’ or ‘Adult’ default settings, or tailor your settings by selecting ‘View details & customize’

Now this is the guide for PS:

  1. Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Parental Controls/Family Management’ > ‘Family Management’
  2. Select the user you want to set the age level for then select ‘Parental Controls’
  3. Scroll down to ‘Age Level for Games’ and press the ‘X’ button

If anyone says something nasty you can always block and report

If you don’t mind your child making new friends online but you’re worried what kind of friends they’ll get into, you can always teach them the values of friendships and what kind of people they should avoid.

If anyone says something nasty you can always block and report this player.

Anyways, there’s a lot of pros and cons about the gaming industry and I could talk a lot more about it, but I think I’ll end it there.

Thank you for reading this. I hope you can understand more about why young people love to game and what good can come out of it.

In partnership with Harington, a charity supporting young adults with learning disabilities and/or difficulties into employment, further education or a more rewarding life.

Shamira is a college student working in a retail course and hoping to get into the pharmaceutical industry. In her free time, she loves to game, cook and spend time with family.

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