News.au.com Posted November 12, 2019 08:14:13Schoolkids can play video-game video games at home, without parents’ permission, and it’s not uncommon to see them playing them in school playgrounds, according to a new report.
A study published by the Australian Institute of Education found video games were played by nearly a third of young people aged 13-18, with up to 90 per cent playing them on their own.
However, despite the prevalence of video-gaming, parents were not always fully aware of the dangers they were exposing their children to, and some were even unaware of how to protect their children, it found.
“Schools should encourage kids to play in the real world in a safe, supportive and positive environment,” the report’s author, Dr Katherine McLeod, said.
“If kids don’t get the opportunity to learn to play at home and without parents permission, it’s very difficult to teach them to be safe in the world around them.”
Dr McLeod said it was important parents took a proactive role in ensuring their children were safe, and had the appropriate knowledge and tools at their disposal.
“Parents should be aware of their children’s behaviours and ensure they are aware of what their children are playing and what their school’s policy is,” she said.
The report also found more than half of students in primary school play video gaming at home.
“When kids play video game, they often interact with other people in the virtual world,” the research’s co-author Dr Kate Pritchard said.”[They] can be distracted by the actions of other people, which can make them feel angry or scared.”
Dr Pritchett said parents should also be aware their children could be playing the game in front of their eyes, and should be able to quickly switch off the game and take their eyes off the screen.
“There are other ways of ensuring kids aren’t distracted from the games,” she added.
“The parent can give them some distraction tools to make it easier for them to focus on the game.”
The study also found nearly two thirds of children in primary schools were exposed to video-games, and almost half of them were playing in the playgrounds.
Dr McLoeys research also found the majority of young children playing video-based games in school were not exposed to bullying or bullying-related behaviour.
“Young children are being exposed to games in a very real way,” Dr McLaneys said.