A few weeks ago we wrote about the effects social networking is having on Britain, some people may have concern with the amount of time they or others spend online but that study was based on adults, so it’s their choice. This week the senior leadership team (SLT) at a school in Wokingham have raised concerns over the amount of time pupils are spending playing computer games; especially those not suited to the children’s age range.
One game that kept popping up when talking with the children was Call of Duty: Black Ops which children are playing in an ‘addictive’ way with one pupil playing for almost 23 hours according to the report from Getwokingham.
The SLT of the school made the decision to send a letter to the parents/carers of each pupil asking for their help in dealing with the problem, it said “We would ask for your support in ensuring that the boys are aware of the dangers associated with devoting too much of their leisure time to playing the game.”
Apparently the letter went down pretty well with parents who thanked the school for the catalyst required to talk with their children about the problem. Mike Elward, Deputy head and ICT co-ordinator explained: “Clearly the letter did strike a chord with a number of the parents. We have had a number of calls back to us saying ‘thank you, it has given us an opportunity to have a chat with our children’.”
The letter also focused on the age old concern of violent video games and reiterating the fact that games have an age restriction for a reason. Interestingly the main game that the teenagers where playing was the new Call of Duty: Black Ops game – which has a BBFC age rating of 18.
Of course games developers would deny the link between computer games and violence, but this was not the primary aim of the letter. The SLT wanted to raise awareness of the amount of time pupils spend playing computer games, setting out appropriate guidelines for pupils and parents alike – you can’t say their not trying.
Do you think schools do enough to educate pupils and parents on the threats and safety associated with gaming? Do you think it is unnecessary?