7 Signs Of Dangerous Computer Games For Children Are Listed

Health 2023
7 Signs Of Dangerous Computer Games For Children Are Listed
7 Signs Of Dangerous Computer Games For Children Are Listed

Video: 7 Signs Of Dangerous Computer Games For Children Are Listed

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Video: This Is Your Child's Brain on Videogames | WSJ 2023, January
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7 signs of dangerous computer games for children are listed

Psychologists and specialists of the Ministry of Health assure that toys may be far from safe for the child's psyche. Law enforcement officers agree with them: another computer shooter in the hands of a teenager is more dangerous than a grenade launcher. We found out what gift for a child will not spoil his nerves and how a popular computer strategy can lead to a hospital bed or a real criminal case.

Photo: pixabay.com

In November, three teenagers from Kansk (a city near Krasnoyarsk) ended up in a pre-trial detention center for planning to blow up the building of the local FSB headquarters in the Minecraft computer game. Children from 14 to 16 years old, and they are threatened by 20 and more under article 205.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The accusation sounds eerie: "Undergoing training to participate in terrorist activities." How this could have happened at all is beyond my head.

Potential risks of toys and games, including desktop and computer ones, were suddenly recognized by the Ministry of Health. A bill was born in the department, in which all these risks - primarily for the child's psyche and normal psychological development - are described point by point. There are seven of them.

Officials emphasize that when drafting the document, they consulted with the chief freelance psychiatrist of the Ministry of Health, specialists from the Institute. Bekhterev and doctors of other specialized clinics.

According to the Ministry of Health, these are the main dangers for a fragile child's psyche.

Games with scenes of physical violence, pornographic pictures, as well as scenarios in which the player must offend a person or hit a cat or dog.

Games in which the characters smoke or drink alcohol;

Games with any manifestations of aggression or a situation where the player becomes a victim or the culprit of an accident;

Games with scenes of illegal behavior;

Games with a touch of excitement;

Games that offend the feelings of believers;

Games that demonstrate death in a degrading form. Experts from state bureaus will decide which toy is dangerous and which child has only one benefit and joy. In fact, it is planned to create a new type of expertise, something in between commodity and psychological and psychiatric. Anyone can send a specific plush animal, a radio-controlled car or a disc with a computer game for verification: from auditors of the competent authorities and manufacturers themselves to retailers and ordinary parents.

Puppet body positivity

However, while the document of the Ministry of Health is in the status of a project. Toys and games do not pass either psychological or psychiatric examination on a mandatory basis. We decided to act as meticulous parents ourselves and went to children's stores in search of dubious toys. Adjusted for the pandemic, more attention was paid to online platforms. We searched the sites of all major aggregators, looked into a couple of popular metropolitan chain stores.

We expected to see most of the negative on the shelves with dolls. But the expectations to stumble upon a number of "human models" with legs from the ears, a disproportionately long neck and waist of the victim of anorexia did not come true. Of course, the traditional doll-dream of all girls of the generation of the 90s, for the sake of imitation of which young women of fashion rushed to lose weight to the stage of the belly stuck to their backs, is on sale. But most of its variations have put on a lot of weight. And not even to normal healthy sizes, but to a specific "plus-size". Next to the body-positive beauties, a doll from the same series, but in the stage of deep pregnancy, is imposingly placed.

We slowed down near the shelf with the kits of the future medic.Several sets offer a glimpse into the inner world of a kitten, puppy and even a person in the literal sense. For the latter, we are not particularly worried, but the ability to playfully pull the entrails out of the cat brings to the disturbing memories of the Khabarovsk knackers.

The toy compartment for boys is much more interesting. Some examples made me think: is everything in order with the developers' heads? The first thing that caught my eye was the monsters. All kinds of freaks the toy market offers. Here are just some of the options: Weapon Plant Monster, Pulling Monster, Squeaker and Rope Monster (marked "3+"), Radio Controlled Monster, Slippery Monsters

The last hope for board games and kits for future scientists. The find was not long in coming. The game marked "10+" offers to play with kittens. It's a good start, except that the animals explode at the most unexpected moment. The player's task is to make sure that a card with an explosive animal gets to a neighbor. He, of course, will "explode", but the more successful player will get a bonus point.

Science kits offer to collect and then break open a safe with a combination lock and create a multi-colored flame. The game for young chemists from three years old contains copper sulfate, alcohol solution, strontium chloride and boric acid. Meanwhile, the guys from Kansk, who are now awaiting trial in the pre-trial detention center, in addition to ambiguous correspondence and an explosive scenario in a computer game, the investigators also impute a hobby for chemical experiments with the creation and detonation of homemade firecrackers in wastelands. So if you put such a set under the tree, then you will have to make sure that the offspring chemistry only at home and under the strict supervision of adults.

Old, kind, plush

We showed psychologists our findings - naturalistically pregnant dolls, creepy monsters, books with psychedelic pictures. Not a single toy or board game alarmed the experts.

- There is no evidence that a toy itself can harm a child, - explained Irina Ryabkova, an expert at the Center for Expertise of Toys and Games at the Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, - Parents who are not psychologists often perceive an emotion as a trauma. The child is frightened by the toy wolf - the parents think that the toy is harmful. But harm is a very powerful word. The harm is caused by illness, injury or some kind of disorder. In this situation, the toy acts only as a litmus test. If the child is frightened by the toy, it means that it has awakened some other fears in him. Most often, they are associated with the society by the parents or the immediate environment of the child.

Buying educational games in the hope that the child will turn out to be a new Stephen Hawking is pointless, psychologists say. A toy is simply an object with which a child plays and learns the world. It is developed by the people around him, not by dolls or cubes.

The main criterion for choosing a toy gift, according to psychologists, is the child's age. However, not everything is so simple here. The marking that we see on the packaging does not mean at all that the toy is suitable for the baby in age. The circled numbers are a hygienic certification requirement. They talk about the materials the toy is made of. Therefore, you can easily see "3+" on the rattle. It is simply made of plastic, which should not be dragged into your mouth. There is no obligatory psychological examination of toys now, so there is no corresponding labeling either. Experts advise relying only on your own common sense.

“A child’s play has age characteristics, and the highest quality doll or toy car can bring disappointment, and in some cases harm the safety and development of the child,” says Antonina Tsytsulina, head of the Association of Children's Products Industry Enterprises.

The last thing when choosing a toy for a child is to indulge in his own memories from the series "I wanted the same doll, but they just didn't buy me."

- We must clearly understand that a doll with legs from the ears is not like a child.Mom likes the modeling business, because she did not finish playing in her childhood. Or dad, because the doll seemed pretty to him.

The child just needs a doll. If the child is small, let it be a baby doll. To him a stroller or a cot. The huge playhouse is, again, the wishes of the mother. If the child is older, preschool age, buy him a doll that also looks like a preschooler. He will have a doll-friend that looks like his reflection, advises psychologist Irina Ryabkova.

Another important rule is that the toy must be as versatile as possible. She should not drive the child into the framework of any one scenario. For example, if there is a choice between a smiling and a laughing doll, it is better to choose the first one. It is less expressive and gives more room for imagination. Who knows what is behind the "Mona Lisa smile"? Let the kid think for himself.

Psychologists also advise against buying supercars or battery-powered robots in favor of ordinary cars and figurines.

- Interactive toys have been proven to keep children busy for a maximum of 15 minutes. During this time, the young player manages to understand how the mechanism works. Then there are only two options. Either he throws the toy altogether, or turns off the interactive function and starts playing with it in a completely different way, like with an ordinary toy car. And no longer includes. And if so, why overpay? - Irina Ryabkova is perplexed.

In addition, interactive fashionable toys can cause non-childish psychological discomfort for their little owners. Such a toy is hard, unpleasant to the touch, you can't put it in bed with you. So the choice is definitely in favor of the good old teddy bears, cars without bells and whistles and dolls that are as similar to children as possible, and not someone's parents from Rublyovka after a series of plastic surgeries (not always successful).

Get to the SIZO

Psychologists have a completely different attitude to computer games. Curiously, they don't even consider them to be games. They refer more to cartoons and films. Immersive only. It is to this effect that specialists have the most questions.

“There is a huge difference between a toy and a computer game,” explains Irina Ryabkova. - These are two different worlds. Games are closer to cartoons. There are no points of contact between ordinary toys and computer games. There must be completely different assessment strategies for them.

By the way, computer games do not pass any examination before release either. The only thing you can focus on here is marking. Unlike ordinary toys, where the age limit in the circle means the risks of the presence of substances harmful to the body and toxins, the markings on the box with a computer game work in the same way as with books and magazines. That is, if the game has an "18+" badge, you can be sure: there are shootings, bloody murders, and other "fun". But, as the sad experience of the guys from Kansk has shown, even a harmless and incredibly popular strategy among schoolchildren of elementary and middle grades can lead to the jail cell. According to experts, the problem is in the excessive freedom of creativity of developers.

Psychologists believe that each scenario of a future computer game should be studied comprehensively by psychologists and psychiatrists, and often even forensic. It is possible that the game universe will have to be cut back at the development stage. For example, a player-built building cannot be called the White House or a nuclear power plant. As they say, out of harm's way. Otherwise, young gamblers will get into the minds of blowing up the virtual residence of the head of state or a strategically important defense facility, and then the competent authorities figure out whether they were joking or not.

But so far there is no such expertise. Therefore, it will be completely different experts to decide whether the players from Kansk really planned some terrorist attacks or not.

“We are waiting for a forensic linguistic examination, which will analyze the correspondence of the children and decide whether they had an intention to undergo training in order to participate in some kind of terrorist activity,” says Anton Kolosov, a lawyer for one of the accused, 14-year-old Nikita. - FSB investigators and forensic linguistic experts, and then the court, will investigate whether the 14-year-olds are really terrorists, or are they just playing.

There is another unpleasant moment with computer games: brain scientists do not yet understand at all how they work in terms of influencing the player's brain.

- Computer games are still poorly studied, - says Irina Ryabkova, - There are a lot of conflicting results on them. For example, the same game for one player has a positive effect on the development of attention, while for another person of the same age and social status, the same game worsens attention. We studied ordinary toys throughout the 20th century and continue to study them in the 21st. And with computer games, we are still at the very start.

Psychologists are making amazing findings. If a computer shooter affects one player as the course of training in a shooting range - the reaction speed and accuracy of shooting increase, the eye becomes sharp, and the hand becomes firm - then the other may withdraw into himself or be seriously scared.

However, these risks pale in comparison to another - the risk of getting a seizure. Against the background of increasing cases, many manufacturers insert a text warning about epilepsy before starting the game.

- An attack can occur due to sudden outbreaks, - explains neurologist Vasily Generalov. - The condition can range from a headache to a loss of consciousness. Flashing 3D movies and music videos can have the same effect. During the London Olympics, the designers had to change the logo of the games. Initially, it consisted of small pieces. When viewed, people fainted.

As doctors explain, computer games with a quick change in bright pictures increase the risks for people with photosensitive epilepsy. A frequency of no more than 3 Hz is considered safe. Anything larger can trigger an attack.

For parents, doctors have only one advice: to monitor the state of health of the child when he plays on the computer or on a TV set-top box. Headache, discomfort, nausea - all these are alarm bells, when they appear, the game should be stopped immediately. Otherwise, you can play out to a light-headed state or a full-fledged seizure with convulsions.

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