The development of technology today, of course, makes it easier for us in various ways, including for entertainment (in the form of videos, films or games ). Currently, many teenagers, even children, spend their time playing games via smart phone devices or personal computers (PCs) .
All children, boys or girls have the potential to be addicted to playing games, but according to research conducted by Herman Nirwana & Nurul Jannah (Padang State University), it is stated that game addiction in boys is higher than girls. This is because boys tend to have a desire to beat, and this makes him feel addicted to play continuously. In the context of traditional gender construction, parents do not burden boys to do household chores (domestic), and this burden is only given to girls, so that in addition to girls not having enough time to play, they also get restrictions on types of games (not as free as boys).
There are a number of impacts on gaming, one of which is a positive impact, among others, it can help reduce stress, make new friends, entertainment, and can even help improve foreign language skills. So what makes playing games such a bad impact, especially on children? By playing games, they tend to do less movement which over time makes their motor system decrease and can lead to obesity. In addition, it can cause damage to the eye (because it is too long to stare at the screen of a cellphone or laptop that causes eye fatigue and can even cause minus eyes). Addiction to playing games can cause children to experience concentration problems and they tend to be more interested in playing games indoors than in physical activities outside the home.
Research conducted by dr. Siste, 2008 (addiction expert & Head of the dominoqq Department of Mental Health Medicine Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital – Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia), there are 14% of children addicted to the internet (playing social media & online games) . Usually they spend about 4-6 hours per day.
The impact of children who are addicted to the game are willing to spend time just to play games than do other activities, and they think playing games is more important than anything else. In addition to the impact of spending time playing games, Price, stated that game addiction also makes it difficult for a person to develop the ability to interact with others and makes relationships with others less good. Anderson & Bushman also stated that game addiction decreases academic achievement and learning motivation.
Then, how do we know if a child is addicted to games?
- Most of the time is spent playing games .
- Delaying or even deliberately skipping tasks to play games.
- Not quiet when there is no cellphone.
- Asking parents to buy game equipment in the near future.
Then what if the child is already experiencing game addiction , and how to deal with it? Here are some ways to deal with game addiction in children:
- Reduce time playing games for children. If the child spends about 6 hours in a day, then reduce the time to play slowly or give understanding to the child why playing hours should be limited.
- Distract with other useful activities. For example, such as inviting swimming, playing ball, or other physical activities.
- Make deals to play games . Like being allowed to play after studying or after helping parents.
- Set a good example. For example, when they have free time, parents may invite children to chat, invite children to take part in cleaning the house, or take a walk (for example, to a museum, to a national library, or a playground).
- If after doing various methods as above but the desire to play the game is still very high, then it would be very appropriate to ask for help from professional experts.