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NEGATIVE & POSITIVE CONSEQUENCES OF ONLINE GAMING IN CHILDREN I.

INTRODUCTION Subsequently, as online gaming has been massively popular in recent years, various repercussions, both negative and positive, can be observed in young children.

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BODY A. It is not unknown that online gaming has unfavourable side effects that many people fear may influence minors negatively. 1. Online gaming may induce violent behaviour in children. a. For many years, the public have been concerned over the issue of violence in television and movies because they fear it might encourage the young minds to imitate the antics of these characters on screen. b. However during gaming, the players are not watching the characters killing another character but instead, they are now playing the character that kills another character. c. According to research, this may provoke violence as this aggression is constantly repeated and then rewarded. (Gentile & Anderson, 2003) d. Children are easily influenced by such things and may decide to resort to violence when confronted with a problem in real life. 2. In recent years, it is found that online gaming is highly addictive. a. Once a player becomes addicted to online games, they can damage themselves and even, to an extent, other people. b. In July 2007, a 15 year old boy from Australia stopped going to school and refused to do his normal daily activities to religiously play the online game, Runescape. (Quartermaine, 2007) c. His addiction became so severe that his father compared it to heroin addiction and wished that he had barred (his) son from joining Runescape. (Quartermaine, 2007) B. Although there are negative consequences to online gaming, there are also a number of noticeable points that may positively affect a child. 1. Many adults may perceive it as a waste of time but actually, online gaming can help children learn life skills such as cooperation.

a. One of the main reasons why online gaming is popular is because players love socialising with one another. b. In a survey, 35% of players prefer online gaming for its social aspect. (Liebert, 2004) c. In online multiplayer games, children will be able to meet a wide range of people to play with, as compared to individual games where the only other available characters to interact with are Non-Player Characters (NPCs). d. Children will be able to learn to adapt to other people and cooperate with them in games that require teamwork. 2. A European Union (EU) report in 2009 mentioned that online gaming can urge children to be more creative and innovative. (Luehrs, 2009) a. 10% of the people who play online games remarked that they favoured online gaming because the game is endless. (Liebert, 2004) b. Online games are constantly evolving over time to keep their players interested. c. This indirectly helps spark creativity into their younger players who are incessantly exposed to this fantasy world which they cannot find in real life. d. Thus, children can adopt this creativity which encourages them to be more innovative in solving problems in their work.

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CONCLUSION Online gaming in some cases can induce violent behaviour and addiction in young children but in many other cases, can also help foster these young minds to be more cooperative, creative and innovative.