Stakeholders Seek Parental Vigilance Over Online Gaming


Following children’s growing attraction to online games, experts and parents have said that the development could lead to an addiction capable of negatively affecting children’s social interactions.
In separate interviews with The Tide’s source, relevant stakeholders said too much screen time and online gaming could also cause medical issues such as eye problems and depression.
They therefore called for parental vigilance, saying that children must be monitored and made aware of the effect of excessive online gambling habits to prevent them from displaying antisocial and erratic behavior.
The Head of Communications at the Women Technology Empowerment Center (WTEC), Mr. Yemi Odutola, said that video games and social media are products of technology that have kept children and young people intensely engaged for many years.
Odutola, however, noted that spending too much time on video games and social media can make a child dependent, withdrawn, and affect their interaction with others.
He said that around 70-80% of children now have access to phones and the internet, allowing them to visit any site they want.
“Most kids know how to access the internet better than their parents and guardians,” he said.
According to research, significant changes occur in the brain when a child plays video games, especially violent video games.
“When children play erratic video games, there is less activity in the brain that involves emotions, attention, and impulse inhibition,” he said.
Odutola continued that another effect of too much screen time and online gaming is that it can create medical issues such as eye problems and depression.
The communications manager urged parents to monitor and limit the time their children spend playing online games.
He said awareness was also key, saying parents, teachers and counselors have a role to play in educating children about the side effects of excessive online gaming.
Using China as a case study, Odutola said the country has found a way to monitor and limit the time children spend on social media.
“I wouldn’t completely discourage its use by children, but strict supervision and time allocation is necessary because the platforms also have immense payoffs,” he said.
Similarly, Mr. Jide Awe, an information technology expert and managing director of Jidaw Systems Ltd, said that too much online gaming harms a child’s health and reasoning.
Awe said that aside from the erratic behavior a child might exhibit from excessively playing online video games, they tend to lose touch with reality and might not carry out their real life activities as well as they would. should.


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