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Children played too many video games during the pandemic

With the coronavirus pandemic around the world, many countries have put various restrictions in place. The most serious of these is undoubtedly the restriction that forces citizens to stay at home. Entertainment outside the home is therefore prohibited. Young people have turned to video games, of course, a poor choice, according to the New York Times.

the excess screen time indicated this

In a long article published this Saturday, January 16, titled “Children’s Screen Time Has Raised In The Pandemic, Alarming Parents and Researchers” (“Children’s Screen Time Has Soared During The Pandemic.” “Alarming Parents and Researchers” in French) The New York Times examined the habits of our dear little darlings during the pandemic. With schools closed or videoconferencing classes set up, health restrictions, and the need to stay home, video games have been a solution to escape needs. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is proof of that. The timely release has multiplied Nintendo Switch sales and brought a host of new followers to gaming consoles.

Children among them. According to researchers polled by the New York Times, this sudden urge to flee will take its toll. “There will be epic blackouts,” said Keith Humphreys, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, addiction expert and drug policy advisor to former President Barack Obama. According to him, young people “need to maintain their alertness in normal interactions without receiving a reward every few seconds.” A form of addiction would have arisen, the fault of the brains of the youngest, especially youth, that adapts and changes under all circumstances.

The video game would then serve as a haven for young people looking for satisfaction in a virtual world. In time it would be harder to escape. What worries parents in the media is the desire that their children now have to spend their free time playing. For example, James, a 14-year-old teenager, uses his free time to play online with his old friends. With the Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of schools, the young man did not have an opportunity to meet new people. “The only way to speak to them other than go to their house is through my Xbox. We play together every night.” But his parents see his new main hobby badly.

Photo credit: Stephen Speranza / The New York Times

When their dog dies at the turn of the year, James explains that playing with his friends prevents him from thinking about losing his canine companion. His mom believes his console allows him to escape the emotions of real life: “What are you going to do when you’re married and stressed out? Tell your wife you need to play Xbox?” To balance his new hobby, James’ parents decided to prevent him from using his Xbox or cell phone on weekdays for the next few weeks. At the weekend, his electronic devices will serve as a reward for successful tasks.

Frightened parents and researchers make up most of the New York Times newspaper. Children would play too much during the pandemic and their parents would be concerned about that increase in screen time. But spending more screen time when the world is limited isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

a temporary gap

Although described here as “a virtual world where children especially escape the emotions of the real world,” video games have their share of advantages. Proof of this is when the New York Post published an editorial on March 23, 2020, when the world was first imprisoned, entitled, “Now is the perfect time to play video games. And you shouldn’t feel.” bad for that. “But then why this turnaround in relation to an industry that generated more than $ 139.9 billion in 2020? Well, because the youngest have locked themselves overnight in this virtual world that is unknown to the elderly.

“So I’m taking this away from you so you can do what? A puzzle? Learn to sew? Knitting?” Paraskevi Briasouli wonders in the columns of the New York Times. Although screens have become more of a habit for her children, this company writer does not hide her face: video games are replacing the usual sporting activities. And while the studies put forward by the American media paint video games as an addiction involving children in a virtual world with no escape, many studies go in the opposite direction.

In 2013, British researchers specifically demonstrated the benefits of StarCraft for the brain. That same year, two researchers from the American Psychological Association showed that video games improve social skills. Last year, the University of Rochester, a city in upstate New York, confirmed that video games make the decision-making process faster. Numerous studies have been conducted on video games. Some researchers say white, others say black. And depending on the studies used and the testimonials cited, it’s easy to turn an article in the direction you want.

Video games remain entertainment

But no, video games don’t make you violent. However, this virtual world is not necessarily entirely rosy. Le Monde specifically highlighted the sexist abuse gamblers face while playing online. League of Legends, Overwatch, Valorant, Fortnite, sexism reigns there and despite the sentences the toxicity persists. Some choose to stop playing for a while or not play at all. Video games have negative sides, it has been proven. Playing Minecraft, however, can’t be bad. However, the time of exposure to screens is especially important.

Between a kid who plays Roblox, Minecraft or Pokémon for 5 hours and a kid who spends the same time on social networks like Twitter, Tik Tok or Reddit, it’s hard to believe that video games will have a negative impact. Even so, like any existing gaps, surpluses should be avoided. Although parents want their children to exercise rather than play on the console, excess can lead to an addiction referred to herein as bigorexia, known as an “addiction to physical activity” that affects people who have become dependent. as a result of excessive exercise “.

As Kotakus Zack Zwiezen wisely mused, “It probably hurts me to spend 12 hours on Twitter scrolling through the latest tragedies, which I don’t quite get.” Video games can easily be blamed, although more of an escape route in these troubled times. Both children and parents are waiting for one thing: the return to a normal life. With schools and cultural places reopening, sporting activities resuming, and especially being allowed to just take a breather, young people should get off their consoles to make their friends. Especially since the climate should be more suitable.


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