Kids and Mobile Games – CONS and PROS

We live in a digital age, and digital devices and mobile games are becoming more and more popular among people of all ages, especially children. This is the sign that digital generation has now arrived. Many studies are showing that mobile-device use among very young children is growing rapidly, especially compared to other mediums. This fact is confirmed by a new report of Common Sense Media, indicating that nearly two in five children have used a tablet or smartphone before they could speak in full sentences.

The same study found that 38% of children under the age of 2 have used a mobile device for playing games, watching videos or other media-related purposes. In 2011, only 10% had. Common Sense Media indicates that by the age of 8, 72% of children have used a smartphone, tablet or similar device. Should we be terrified by these alarming facts? Is this a positive or a negative trend?

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There is no doubt that playing games on mobile devices have lots of benefits, but it seems that there are also many negative impacts we should be aware of!

In this blog post, we will consider some of the pros and cons of children playing games on mobile devices. We will start with cons:

1. Mobile games can be a great distraction

Plenty of children, of all ages, today, use mobile devices to play mobile games, sometimes spending even several hours on this activity. Such practice can have an appalling impact, as sitting around and playing mobile games isn’t a healthy way for your child to spend time. This trend is certainly disconnecting children – from nature, play, and socialization with other people. Moreover, later in the school, children often use their mobiles for playing games in the class, which results in their distraction from the class.

2. Playing games could put your kids in danger

Sometimes, playing games on their mobile phones could put your child at risk. Playing mobile games is often a distraction for children as they deeply immerse in them, paying little attention to what’s going on around them. If your child plays a game while walking on the street, it may happen that he or she doesn’t notice a car or someone following them. Children crossing streets while using mobile phones were 43% more likely to be hit by a passing vehicle, according to research conducted in 2008 by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. As a result of distraction, they were less likely to look both ways when crossing the street.

3. Health risks

Playing games extensively can cause real health problems to your children; you may not be aware of now! Eye strain and “digital thumb” resulting from continuous focusing on a small screen and small buttons are just some of them. Moreover, sometimes playing games on mobiles can become addictive and cause serious psychological problems for your child.

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But, there is the opposite side and some benefits from playing games at early age, so let’s hear the pros:

1. Mobile games can be educational

When we say that games can be educational, we are referring to “learning games.” According to a study conducted by PBS, children 3 to 7 years of age who played educational games showed 31% improvement in vocabulary skills. Isn’t it amazing? Nowadays, there are plenty of educational games for children of all ages. For example, for smaller children (2 to 4 years), there is a game that helps them learn numbers while kids age of 5 to 6 can learn how to add small numbers and do some basic math operations. Also, games such as Zoo Train is an educational game for young children, where they can complete puzzles, learn shapes and listen to music. There is also a plenty of other games helping your kids to learn to spell, to write, to practice their math skills and test their memory. So, not all games on mobiles have an adverse effect on your children. It’s just important to select the right one.

2. Mobile games can keep your child calm

Sometimes, giving your child to play games on mobile can keep them calm and give yourself some time to finish an important job. For instance, if your child is crying and distracts you while driving, you can give them play a game that will allow you to drive safely. However, you shouldn’t do this often and for a long time, as children need some quality time to spend with their parents.

3. Mobile games can be creative

You probably know that there are plenty of creative games and apps that will enable your kids to draw with their fingers, to make some digital coloring books, to record their voice while singing, or to make a short family video. As long as they are helping them express themselves there is nothing wrong with such activities.

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In the end, what’s the verdict?

So, do the cons outweigh the pros? It’s up to you to make a final decision whether or not you want to allow your kids to use mobile devices to play around. However, bear in mind that mobile games can be beneficial, but only when used under your supervision. As a parent, you should control both time used and content of the games, and, in that case, they can serve many productive purposes and even be quite beneficial for your offsprings.

 

Image source: LiveScience, Add Week, Gigaom

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