Computer Games vs. Children’s Books

Kids Playing Computer Games

Come on Boys, get a Book!

We are living in the era of computers and it’s not uncommon for young kids to be able to switch on the computer, find the games and sit down comfortably in front of a lifeless screen clicking away.

In the unreal world they can dress dolls, shoot rabbits, jump through imaginary worlds… well, yes, they are imaginary and although there is nothing wrong with imagining, the problem is that the scenes and patterns of computer games are pre-designed by other people.

By playing computer games, children don’t develop their own imagination, they simply follow a ready-made story line imagined by somebody else.

Do you think gaming is a good activity for young children? Let’s assume you only buy good (no violence, no swearing etc.) games for your child. Even then, are you sure it’s the right way forward for developing your child’s brain and imagination?

The only proper way of making your little one a happy, intelligent and clever individual is back to basics: reading, reading and reading.

Reading is the first step to a good vocabulary, creative thinking and proper speaking skills. When you read a book, you develop your imagination and dreams.

It’s because each of us interprets a book in his own unique way – unlike games, where the characters and situations are pre-designed, in the book world you set your own rules and you see the situations in your mind’s eye slightly different from me or the guy next door (I’m not sure he reads books but let’s assume he does).

Getting children to read is important because reading is a process that enriches child’s knowledge and ability to respond emotionally to the situations and characters. It develops judgment and values.

Computer games is an unreal and deserted world and the only skill you can obtain is faster reaction and ability to click keys… yeah, and shooting skills, for what it’s worth.

You may argue that literature is an unreal world too. That’s true but this world is full of imagination, emotions and unknown details waiting to be discovered and interpreted. This magical world is very important to help a child develop thinking, emotions and a versatile personality. It’s your responsibility, dear parents!

pic by BookMama via creative commons lic.

 

Discussion:

You ask “Do you think gaming is a good activity for young children? […] are you sure it’s the right way forward for developing your child’s brain and imagination? The only proper way of making your little one a happy, intelligent and clever individual is back to basics: reading, reading and reading.”

Balance in all areas of life is preferable to obsession. You can”t make a child intelligent. A child thrives when doing what he or she loves, hopefully including reading and being read to, and the child”s tastes will change and change again. My 20 year old has always enjoyed computer games and preferred them to reading – he”s just finished his A levels and is one of the most balanced people I know. His love of literature could not be forced but it grew out of his desire to understand Drama and Theatre Studies and Film Studies. Incidentally there”s a lot of dodgy stuff in the world of literature and plays too. For a while he was fascinated by ”A Clockwork Orange”, not something I would have steered him towards. My daughter went through a phase of reading Nietsche.

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