I’ve been hearing about this petition to ban the popular game Clash of Clans in the Philippines. The petition seems to have been instigated by a troop of parents long frustrated by how it has hijacked the lives of their kids. The thinking there, as I understand, is that if addictive narcotics are banned, then addictive video games should also be banned.
Clash of Clans is an online multiplayer game in which players build a community, train troops, and attack other players to earn gold and elixir, which can then be used to build defenses so as to protect the player against other players attacking them. The game also features a pseudo-single player campaign in which the player must attack a series of progressively more heavily-fortified goblin villages.
The game became an App Store top 5 download between December 2012 and May 2013, and this success has been described as helping to usher in a new era in conjoint gaming on mobile devices. In 2013, Clash of Clans was the third highest game in revenue generated on the App Store and Google Play.
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Is the problem the game itself? Or does the real issue have more to do with the way kids are being raised today?
Some insight that would be useful with regard to the above questions can be gleaned in the way the late Steve Jobs — founder of Apple and creator of the iPhone — who almost single-handedly launched the age of the smartphone, reportedly raised his own kids. Nick Bilton writes in his New York Times story on the subject…
[…] nothing shocked me more than something Mr. Jobs said to me in late 2010 after he had finished chewing me out for something I had written about an iPad shortcoming.
“So, your kids must love the iPad?” I asked Mr. Jobs, trying to change the subject. The company’s first tablet was just hitting the shelves. “They haven’t used it,” he told me. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”
Since then, Bilton had spoken to other parents who, ironically, were mostly execs of big technology firms and came up with a revealing general conclusion…
Children under 10 seem to be most susceptible to becoming addicted, so these parents draw the line at not allowing any gadgets during the week. On weekends, there are limits of 30 minutes to two hours on iPad and smartphone use. And 10- to 14-year-olds are allowed to use computers on school nights, but only for homework.
Indeed, the reality is that today’s generation of kids will be growing up surrounded by addictive technology. So the more practical approach to raising them would be to instil the disciplines needed to manage their relationship with these artefacts at an early age.
It seems that parents who now lament the addiction they observe in their older teenaged or even early 20-something young adult kids may be more accounted for by their own shortcomings in the way they raised them.
[NB: Parts of this article were lifted off Wikipedia.org and used in accordance with that site’s Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License consistent with the same license applied by Get Real Post to its content.]
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.