Online games & Gaming

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This week’s topic was so interesting to me because I love to play video games when I have time to play them. Some of my favorite games to play are Mario Kart on the Wii, Fortnite on the PS4, and the GamePigeon games on my phone. Growing up, I played so much Mario Kart with my sister and my cousins. I would connect on Mario Kart with people around the world which was fun. Recently, I learned how to play Fortnite and have been spending more time playing it with my roommates. After reading this week’s content I was able to learn that Fortnite can actually have positive effects on gamers. In this game, you have the ability to make your own objectives and collect things that will help you survive. It is also very interactive because you can play with groups of friends on other devices. These last couple months as I have been traveling for soccer with the University, I have had multiple instances where my teammates have brought the Nintendo switch and PS4 on trips in order to play with one another while we sat in our hotel rooms. I love that with the PS4 we could wear headsets and talk to one another while we are playing the game. It is a great way to stay connected with people in other parts of the world. Overall, I would say that it does give me the opportunity to work on my problem solving skills as I have to make quick decisions in the game. As for the GamePigeon, which is on our phones is so fun to play, especially as you send it to your friend by text. I enjoy playing GamePigeon because it gets my brain thinking in a short amount of time.

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I think there are a few ways in which we can foster responsible use of online video games. In the article “ Internet gaming disorder: feeling the flow of social games, it talks about how “online gaming helps children develop their creativity, nurture relationships and friends” (Hu, Stavropoulos, Anderson, Scerri & Collard, 2019). Video games are a safe place for kids to use their creativity and problem-solving skills. It is important to recognize how video games promote other skills that benefit kids in the real world. Students can translate these skills including teamwork, problem solving, communication skills and much more in their education. Even as I reflect on my own experience with video games, I find that I was able to balance my life by hanging out with friends, and making some time to play video games. When I was younger I had the Wii and my dad would buy me and my sister tons of games to play. Although there were days that we spent hours playing it, we never let it control our lives. I think it is important that students manage the amount of time they are spending on video games. They need to remember that they do have a life outside of gaming and should enjoy time outside with their friends.

Some of the tips that I would offer to parents when it comes to establishing and supporting kids’ healthy online gaming habits, is to monitor how long your children are playing video games. It is okay to let them play a couple hours each day, but make sure that they are physically getting out of the house to see their friends and do some kind of activity. Another tip I would tell them is to be careful and make sure that their accounts are private. There are a lot of people out there playing video games, and your kids needs to make sure that they are aware of what they are saying and doing. My last piece of advice is have an awareness of what games your children are playing and the age that they are playing it. There are some games that younger children shouldn’t be playing. Nowadays it is easy for children to purchase all sorts of games, and as a parent having the awareness of what games they are buying is important.

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Arianna Delmoral

Student-Athlete at the University of Minnesota majoring Business and Marketing Education