An NGO, the Women Technology Empowerment Centre (WTEC), on Monday urged parents to monitor the kind of video games played by their children to reduce erratic behaviours and suicide attempts among youths.
The Communication Officer of WTEC, Mr Yemi Odutola, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that parents need to pay attention to the kind of video games their children played.
Odutola said that about 70-80 per cent of children now have access to phones and the internet, which according to him, enables them to visit any site of their choice.
He said that most children know how to access the internet better than their parents and guardians.
“According to research, significant changes occur in the brain, while a child is engaged in playing video games, particularly violent video games.
“When children are playing erratic video games, there is less activity in the brain that involves emotions, attention and inhibition of impulses.
“There is also an increase in aggressive behaviour following violent or dangerous video games.
“For instance, a child that constantly watches a video game where he is encouraged to shoot, stab or strangle an opponent to win, will at some point want to try it out,” Odutola said.
The communication officer also said that it was necessary for parents to stop their children from playing certain video games before they get too addicted to it.
He said that children who were addicted to certain video games were likely to become depressed or withdrawn when stopped.
“Children in such state have the tendencies of attempting suicide and that is why it is necessary for parents to limit them from playing the video games before they get addicted.”
“Not all video/online games are bad, some of them actually help children to task their brains and also develop analytical and problem solving skills,” Odutola said.
Also, Mr Oladele Agboola, the Chief Executive Officer, Ward Monitor, urged parents to download apps that would help them to keep track of the kind of games their children play online.
Agboola said that parents would always be the first point of contact when it comes to controlling and exercising discipline regarding what game a child should play and vice versa.
“In the Information Technology sector, there is little or nothing that can be done to ban violent video games, it all balls down to the parents to monitor and set limits for their children,” he said.
NAN reports that Ward Monitor is a mobile application platform that helps to share classroom moments between teachers and school administrators to parents at will without using data. (NAN)